October I, 1960
remains memorable in the mind of every Nigerian as it marked the end of British
hegemony over the political entity now known as Nigeria. Upon the almgamation
of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914 by a Briton, Lord Luggard,
Nigeria was made to be under the influence of the British crown and government.
During the period, Nigerians, no matter their level of education now played
secondary roles in the governance of their country. Not only was the Queen of
England seen as the Head of all common wealth countries (countries where
Britain has interest, major decision were always taken in England. This however
hindered Nigerians from contributing directly to issues of development.  Unfortunately, since the attainment of
political independence, Nigeria has hardly spent a decade as a country without
serious crises occasioned by politicians. First, was during the first republic
when the acclaimed and celebrated nationalists derailed from their vision of
developing Nigeria to politics of ethnicism and personal aggrandizement. The
outcome was a total back off from the original plan of development. Divided
interest did not only become the order of the day, political leaders became
totally uncontrollable. Obviously, it was the failure of political leadership
in the first republic that led to the eventual take over of power by the
military, championed by an Okparam born fire brand and gallant soldier, Major
Kaduna Nzeogwu.

                The colonial masters, despite
their short comings were able to build infrastructures many of which are still
serving the country today. But for now, attention is focused on our political
leaders who for the past fourteen years are yet to put smiles on the faces of
highly impoverished Nigerians. failure of leadership is the same at all levels
of government as the poor masses are still grappling with the unfavorable
policies of government which only favour the powers that be. For instance, the
increament of the pump price of fuel from N65 per litre to N140 per litre in
January 2012 was strongly resisted by Nigerians. The peaceful protests that
followed in different parts of the country, particularly Lagos,were put under
control when the federal Government later announced a pump price of N97 and
with a promise to use the proceeds to the benefit of Nigerians particularly
those at the grassroots. Only recently,the federal Government disbursed
N1.6billion to the Delta State Government as its share in the susbidy
Re-livestment programme (SURE-P), out of which Ika North East  Local Government got N70million and Ika South

                The unfortunate thing is that
the Federal Government has only fulfilled its promise of making the SURE-P
funds available, but without any mapped out plans on how it should be spent to
the benefit of the downtrodden in the society. In a few months time, the
caretaker committee members will leave office and they may leave without any
evidence to show what they used the SURE-P money for. If the proceeds from the
SURE-P is to be shared between state and local governments in Nigeria that have
not been able to account for the Federal allocation they receive every month,
that means that the aim of using the SURE-P fund to the benefit of the
grassroot has been defeated. The poor masses will continue to buy fuel at N97
per litre while only very few will be sharing the proceeds.

                By and large, fourteen years of
uninterrupted democracy has done Nigerians more harm than good, particularly in
the areas of creating the enabling environment for businesses, and education,
among others to thrive. At the end of which survival has become very difficult.
Government may not be able to provide jobs for millions of Nigerians but
creating the enabling environment will avail the people the opportunity to
engage themselves meaningfully.

                Our government is so corrupt
that it is no longer bothered about the welfare of the people. Our educational
system is in shamble. Our health sectors is in the hightest level of decay,
while the issues of electricity, roads and other infrastructures are being
treated with kid gloves. Where then is the democracy? We agree that the
Nigerian democracy is still at its experimental stage, but there should have
been signs showing that we are truly on the path of development.

Despite the
inadequacies among government officials, Nigerians still remain docile, by not
asking question about their tomorrow. The failure of the people to ask
questions as most good citizens in civilized countries do, has been the
propelling force and barner for corrupt politicians who are only bothered about
their political future.

                There is absolutely nothing to
celebrate especially. those of us here in Ika land because we are still where
we were many years ago if not even better off in the past. Prior to 1999, the
standard of education in Nigeria was high, our hospitals even though not well
equipped, were very functional. The few roads that were tarred were okay, civil
servants were very committed, political office holders were careful not to
offend their people and corruption was less. Today, nobody cares anymore. All
attention is now focused on politics because of the immediate gain they expect
to get. Our farmers are still using the crude method of faring they inherited
from their forefathers centuries ago, yet we have the Ministry of Agriculture.
The problems are countless.

                No country makes progress when
its citizens are kept in the dark in almost everything it is doing. A true
democracy is one which considers the citizens first before other things. The
continuous grabbing of public funds by political office holders without remorse
will not help us develop, instead, we will be preparing ground for insecurity
to thrive. Our governments, from federal to local levels should amend their
ways and stop engaging in corrupt activities that are militating against our
democracy. We should accept our mistakes and start charting a new course for
our country, failure of which, the country might be heading to a point of no

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