Today marks Nigeria’s Independence. Her 61st since the British forces decided it would be more convenient to have less presence and more influence on the land. Across many state capitals, the environment seems rather unsurprisingly far from cheerful. For the average Nigerian, aside from life and family, there’s a little less to be grateful for: no stable power, soaring inflation, high unemployment, bad roads, poor security and poverty, everything one could imagine that could go bad with a country has gone bad with Nigeria and yet, it’s a miracle how the self-acclaimed giant of Africa still got its act together — only that it’s actually doesn’t.
Internally, the nation is a brewing storm. In the Southern region, there are growing agitations for a referendum and a revamp of the nation’s quasi-obsolete constitution. The North is no safer either. Kidnappings have quadrupled over the last six years, with a myriad of ethnic genocide targeting Christians and gospel churches. Hundreds of schools have been shut down and thousands of citizens displaced in a region densely infested with the world’s most dangerous terrorists. The nation’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has remained hotly criticized for blessing these terrorists with free thousands of dollars at the supposed retirement of their massacre career.
The economy is a sorry sight to behold. By the many irrationally counterproductive economic decisions taken over the last six years, a retinue of renowned economists and mathematicians have made themselves appear irredeemably foolish to the world. Weatherbeaten by self-inflicted inflation, the government continues to enact hideous policies like the ban on foreign exchange platforms, the clampdown on Rise, Kuda, Bamboo and many indigenous fintech startups, and a continually destructive devaluation of the Naira. The latest plans are to float a digital currency— a move most experts have described as ultra hasty and propelled by the bandwagon effect.
Thanks to Buhari, Nigeria has witnessed soaring levels of nepotism and carcinogenic ethnocentrism over the last six years. A whopping 68% of the total federal parastatal is occupied by both incompetent and underqualified Northern workers. The remainder 32% is hotly contested between civil servants of Southern and Middle Belt descent, with South East scraping off only a paltry 6.3%. Ironically, within the last six years, the country has grown to become the poorest nation on earth and fell from its top position as Africa’s fastest-growing economy in 2014.
On the issue of press freedom, Nigeria has become worse. The RWB description of the nation as one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists, is only a pinch on the crate of truth. Last week, former CBN governor and top critic of the Buhari-led government, was reportedly murdered by a slew of hyper-complacent doctors — the remainder of millions who have fled the shores of Nigeria to seek a better life.
At 61, Nigeria is cursed with bad leaders and worse followers and there’s nothing to write home about. Quite literally.