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By: Jeff Abduljafar Ahmadu,  Published October 18th, 2010

The celebration of Nigeriaís 50th independence anniversary has generated heated debates in the past couple of weeks. Viewpoints fall into four major categories: the grand celebration group; sober reflection group; misplace priority group and the notorious disgruntled group. However, 1st October has come and gone and my evaluation shows that two groups won at the end of the day. These are: the grand celebration group, and the infamous disgruntled group.

Veraciously, those who believed we should clothe in our best attires and dance to the show of shame that permeate every aspect of our economy came 1st in the debate on how Nigeriaís 50th independent anniversary should be marked. The grandiose celebration on 1st October 2010 with N6.6b expenditure is enough evidence. Apparently, the celebration was flamboyant, and its proponents [government and their cronies] had a filled day.

But frankly, Nigeria cannot cease to amaze me. I just wonder why on earth somebody should think that the past 50years in Nigeria is golden. When, describing the economy in the past 50 years has been distorted is to say the least: Like a sickly under the care of a quack doctor, plethora of developmental efforts is being made to salvage the ailing economy to no avail.

Yet, the government of president Good-luck Jonathan is of the opinion that this was an apple opportunity for Nigerians to roll out drums and click glasses to celebrate. Even the infamous actions [bomb blast] of the second groups in this class of winners could not deter him. He was hard and resolute while hungry Nigerians sat and watched how their N6.6b was lavishly spent. Obviously, they were helpless.

As if this is enough, but not; at least, not for the president and his allies. Few days after the 50th independence anniversary, Professor Dora Akuyili, the minister of information and communication is reported [ Nigerian Tribune, 7th October, 2010 ] to have said that the president had directed a committee to be set up to probe the N6.6b budgeted expenditure of the extravaganza. Havenít we had enough of this 50th independent anniversary and its paraphernalia? Doesnít the Government have anything else to do?

The ado about fifty year anniversary is enough. Even where the government has nothing to do, albeit there are so much to do, it should face its electioneering for 2011 and let go the intending second round of wasteful spending in the name of being together as a single entity for fifty years. This is going to be another massive waste of Nigeriansí money.

Obviously, the probe committee members will be paid seating allowance, lunch break, and even the tea girls, will be paid from the national treasury. This will be another opportunity for the over-paid and under-worked political leaders [as Abati describes them] and their agents to further deplete our treasury in the name of probe. Isnít it high time we spoke out and stopped this impeding licentiousness? Isnít 50th year independence anniversary amidst of hunger and starvation too trivial for all these?

Absolutely, I understand that N6.6b is no small money. But like it is said, two wrongs canít make a right; the probe cannot change the fact that the economy is in comatose nor the new appellation the infamous rebels who thinks that the only way to register their disapprover of government policies was to detonate bombs has earned us.

Talking of bombing, the incidence is particularly pathetic for us in Diaspora. The harder we try to re-brand product Nigeria, the more an ugly incidence rare is head. When can we tell a fellow African that Nigeria is a safe place to do business, talk of more of a European? Is it that the government do not know these things? Or is she having failing memories?

May we remind her that insecurity is the number one threat to foreign investment, or that the perennial black-out in Nigeria is begging for attention so that businesses will stop relocating to neighbouring African country? Do we need to remind it that is not only micro-finance banks that have failed in Nigeria, but that SME financing is in jeopardy?

Enough is enough! The ado about 50th independence anniversary is enough. 1st October is gone. Letís live it behind. The government should face more serious policy issues and let go independent anniversary probe. Thank you.

Yours Respectfully,

Jeff Abduljafar Ahmadu
University of the West Scotland,
United Kingdom.

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