October 1st
every year is always declared by the Federal Government of Nigeria as public
holiday, marking the independence of the country from the British government in
1960. October, 1960, no doubt marked a turning point in the history of  Nigeria. The plans of the nationalists who
fought for the independence  was to build
a country where its citizens will have rights to quality education, healthcare,
functional infrastructures, security and above all, be meaningfully employed.

                Unfortunately, fifty three years
after the country’s independence, political leaders have made the country to be
very difficult for people to live in. They have not only failed in their
responsibility to build a better Nigeria but have also completely lost focus on
how to govern the country.

                The recent crises engulfing the
leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where some of its
leaders including governors are at logger heads with the presidency; the
kidnapping of eminent Nigerians which has continued unabated; the high cost of
living, insecurity occasioned by insurgents such as the Boko Harram sect, over
dependence on fuel thereby abandoning other sectors like agriculture,
vandalization of oil pipelines; the illegal mining of crude oil, the high level
of corruption in different sectors of the economy, ASUU unending strike; lack
of quality education; healthcare, epileptic power supply; bad roads to mention
but a few, areas where the Nigerian government has failed.

                Independence, according to the
Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary means freedom: But the Big unanswered
question is, how free are Nigerians when nearly 70% of the country’s population
are leaving below the income of one dollar? (N159) per day? How free are
Nigerians when a large percentage of the 
population are unemployed? and how free are Nigerians when
employment  is no longer on the basis of
merit but to the highest bidder?

                At the moment, Nigeria’s
development has remained at a stand still as political leaders are now more
concerned with about how to win political office and remain in power at all
cost. The governed on their own parts are not doing enough to liberate
themselves from the shackles of corrupt political leaders as they have become
praise singers, maybe because of the peanuts they get from political leaders.

                The continued massive looting of
the national treasury and the total dependence upon oil are clear indications
that Nigeria is on a part of no return except urgent steps are taken to remedy
the situation . No nation progresses when its leaders are self centred and
corrupt. There is no doubt that if the dead sees from where they are on the
other side of the divide, they will be weeping for Nigeria and Nigerians
because what they are seeing happening was not what they fought for. 

                Nigeria needs selfless, honest,
focus and hardworking leaders, not political neophytes, sycophants and
inconsequentials who derive joy in enslaving their fellow country men and
women. Many damages have been done to the existence of Nigeria that any further
one will lead to its total collapse, hence, all hands must be on deck. There is
need for us all to live as good citizens. As it entails doing things right and
not aiding and abetting corruption. It is time, Nigerians take their destiny in
their hands and say no to corrupt political leaders. Also, as part of the
measures to building a better society, every Nigerian irrespective of our
profession should live above board and do things expected of them as good
citizens. Nigeria shall be great again.

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