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
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
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.
Jeff Abduljafar Ahmadu
University of the West Scotland,