AS the nation prepares to celebrate its 53rd independence anniversary on October 1, some Nigerians express regret that certain qualities and values which characterised the nation at independence had been lost. Below are what Nigerians said on the issue.
Christian Ifeanyichukwu, Banker: Nothing is working presently, but the country has cause to celebrate, at least having remained a united nation in spite of all the challenges facing it. Again, as a united nation, we have run 14 years of uninterrupted democracy; that alone calls for celebrating. I believe that continuous criticisms of our leaders will not change this country.
Marcy Nnamani, Civil Servant: Who is celebrating? No ministry in this country is working and you are talking about 53rd anniversary. Well, I think our leaders should demonstrate to us that the country is 53. No factory is working and some that are functioning are relocating to neighbouring countries as a result of lack of conducive environment for operations. The state of education in the country as well as the rising state of unemployment, especially among university graduates, shows that there is nothing to celebrate.
Chukwuma Ejigionu, Accountant: For all I know, the situation in the country has gone from bad to worse despite all the promises by our leaders mostly President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. All our past heads of state and presidents should cover their faces in shame, as they have never really been committed to the cause of the masses but rather their pockets and their families.
Alex Ejiofor, Businessman: The problem of Nigeria is sincere and selfless leadership. We have all the natural resources yet nothing is working. The Academic Staff Union of Universities had been on strike for the past two months and the government is not bothered. All they are thinking of is how to celebrate independence.
James Awalawa, Hotelier: I think we should see the independent celebration as a time for reflection on our past. We should also use the occasion to reflect on the need for peace and tolerance as the only means through which we can achieve the benefits of nationhood. Though our yesterday seems better than our today, I believe the future could be better.
Moses Diugwu, Civil Servant: At 53, Nigeria is a failed nation. Our leaders do not have the interest of the masses at heart. This is the cause of all the problems we are having today in this country; every disagreement always results in violence because people are oppressed by those we elected as leaders. But in all these, Nigeria is a blessed nation and the only thing we need is a leader who can deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Nigeria.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Oct. 7, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT