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Nigeria @58: An Adult Or A Child Among The Comity Of States? By Ukpono Etuk

It was late Nelson Mandela that once wrote a book he entitled "Long walk to freedom " in the case of Nigeria, we are having the duplicated version LONG WORK TO FREEDOM. Pa Chinwe Achebe of blessed memory said this times ago, during his times of tireless query inquiry on the state of the nation and state of our union since 1914 and 1960. "what are we celebrating? Is it the hunger, bad governance, backwardness and setbacks, poverty, inequality, unemployment and weak institutions? "
As a young Nigerian, what our founding fathers like Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo etc feared and worried for in their days of struggles for our national liberation remains a state of concern till date. 
Many regimes, republics and generations after independence, Nigeria is still at a crossroads to nowhere from somewhere. What an irony. A national oxymoron and a federal rollercoaster in an illusion of mirage, phantom and phantasmagoria leadership of elites quagmire since the inception of the fourth republic 1999-date.
There are so many key indicators to national development in nations across the globe. Some of which are:
1. Education and educational transformation of the nation (science and technology) 
2. Health (health sector is everything a nation need) 
3. Good policies and programs of the subsequent government in the nation's history. 
4. Power or electric city 
5. Pipe borne water 
6. Good transport system 
7. Steady employment opportunities for citizens 
8. Workable, acceptable, implementable form of government. 
 Historical evidence across the globe shows that, no nation after independence developed through share goodwill or by the grace of geography, it is hard work and prospects towards the future of the nation that brings developmental progress. 
Nigeria after 58 years can't conduct a mere elections without military involvement like it South Africa and Ghana counterparts in west and southern Africa regions respectively. That shows that, the electoral process of the nation is still not visible or close to reality. 
The democratic expeditions of the nation after 19 years of democracy is still in shambles. The Democratic journey is still been referred to as " growing or developing " while countries like Kenya and Rwanda are doing well, Rwanda to be precise after 24 years of genocide. What then is wrong with Nigeria? 
Look at the educational sector. The is a rumor of the plan to hike the tuition fees of federal universities, pending ASUU strike and students demands for good funding too. 
If after 58 years, our students still receives lectures while standing or seated on floors and lecturers teaching in an over crowded classrooms, then something is terribly wrong with the nation. If in the elementary schools, people enrollment still pursued as threat, then we need an urgent surgery of the sector. 
I read lately that doctors in Canada are protesting for reduction of salaries, while in Germany, teachers are the highest paid, in Nigeria, doctors and teachers are still undergoing strikes because of salaries depreciation, then it is a call for national emergency in the sector.
The Nigerian labour congress just called off it warning strike, they are requesting salaries review from #18,000.00 minimum wage to about #56,000.00 this quest shows a total neglect of the work force over time. If after this decades of independence, our institution managers are using strikes as strategy, it shows that something is wrong with the structure of the nation. It is good to note that strike is not fashionable in some countries, even in Africa. Why is the giant of Africa experiencing strikes? 
The nation is in dire need of water and power, for us to be reckoned among the comity of states and work towards becoming great nations, the government must double it efforts in providing water supply and steady electricity to the populace. These duo will help in advancing our level of science and technology. Students and artisans will work extra towards developing their skills, wit and grit accordingly.
Transportation is still a challenge in Nigeria today. The government must as a matter of urgency work this out for the betterment of the nation. 
Someone recently wrote and criticize Afrikaans or Third World country, in his view, we are not part of jet age continents. In jet age nations, electricity, transportation, education etc aren't a challenge and people in those countries have advanced knowledge in ICT and the use of internet. Based on this understanding, we have a lot of work to do. 
Look at the policy program of our leaders since 1960. Are they policies that have moved the nation forward? Look at our debt profile despite our huge human resources, intellectual property and abundant natural resources. How well have we used them to our advantage and investiture? 
Many years after colonialism or the departure of the colonial masters, the institutions left to us, what have we done like India to improved on them? Can we say that we advanced or retrogressed? 
It is on record that for a country to have strong and respectful Armed Forces, it most at least produce or manufactures it arsenal or weaponry. Till date, Nigeria military wares are imported. This is not a good sign at all. We must grow from here to there to enable us compete favourably with other nations. 
Our economy seems to be in a faltering position. This is a problem that we must look into as a people. What can we do in other to have a flourishing and steady economy. 
Above all, I wish our burgeoning nation a hearty Independence Day celebration. I pray that the next 58 years of the nation will be far better and prosperous. 
May God give our leaders the heart to know in other to build this great nation for the interest of the future generations. 
SUGGESTIONS 
a.  We need grand strategy as a nation. This is a national developmental plan that all government must use when in Aso Rock. It will not be business as usual. It is a road map for development equivalent to the great Chinese and the great American dreams. 
b.  Restructuring or revisiting of key sectors like power, health and education. If the government overhauled these sectors. It will lead to rapid development indeed. 
c.  Attitudinal change. Nigerians and all occupants of the nation must change their mindsets. The civil and public servants must be more diligent in carrying out their responsibilities. The leadership at all levels must review their commitment stands to the people and to the nation. The military and electoral management bodies must be committed to the nation not to leaders in power. 
Rwang, Patrick Stephen 
Department of political science 
Federal University of Kashere Gombe state 
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