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Nigeria@ 60: State of the Nation, Opportunities Amid New Normal

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In commemoration of Nigeria’s diamond independence anniversary, National Light’s CHINWENDU UZOATU and BLESSING NNABUIFE captured the impression of some Nigerians on Nigeria at 60. Excerpts:

We are getting back to our original stand in agric – Emecheta

Emecheta

 AT 60, we are still fumbling and wobbling. We will get there because we have fallen but we are making serious effort to rise.

  The oil glut got us confused as we left our original source of income which is agriculture. While the West was producing Cocoa, East- palm oil and North- cotton, rice, the regions were doing so well. When the oil was lost, the diversification was much.

Thank God we have learnt our lessons. Now, we are getting back to our original stand in agriculture so that we don’t rely on oil only. I am glad that they removed fuel subsidy. Abacha raised the cost of fuel and used it in Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).

I remember the last maintenance of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, it was done by PTF. Money from fuel subsidy should not only be used on infrastructure but should also be used on other things and in promoting the living standard of the citizens. Nigerians will be glad for that.

Sir Emecheta is the MD and CEO, Anambra State Signage and Advertising Agency (ANSAA), Awka

There are still things good about Nigeria – Obiora- Ibezim

Obiora- Ibezim

I THANK God as Nigeria celebrates 60 years. If Nigeria should be a human being, she should be retiring this year from state or local government service. So Nigeria should be a full grown adult by now; maybe with grandchildren and people seeking advice from her.But we thank God that things are not yet so bad that Nigeria cannot be redeemed. 

  There are still things good about Nigeria. At least,we have ministers of God in Nigeria which  is where the trigger is. God is raising ministers of the gospel from Nigeria and sending them to different parts of the world for evangelisation.

Nigeria is the heart beat of God, because some of the things that have transpired in Nigeria; if it is in other countries, there will be war.Nigeria is a vast nation and our president is just one man. We pray and encourage all the leaders in various capacities surrounding him to give him good advice that will help him to succeed, because they are his eyes and ears.There are so many Christians praying for peace.

 We pray for our leaders so that God will give them wisdom, ability and strength to pilot the affairs of this nation.

Mrs Gloria Obiora- Ibezim is the Secretary and Chief Executive officr, Local Government Staff Pensions Board, Awka

Nigeria’s leadership has regrettably not done enough – Chukwuleta

Chukwuleta

NIGERIA’S 60th birthday song is soaked with discordant tunes of pain, leadership, betrayal, religious and ethnic misunderstanding, among others.

  The country’s leadership has regrettably not done enough to address the underlying issues fanning the ambers of insecurity and disunity in the country. Of a truth, there is need to acknowledge and  thank God for keeping the country as one despite her numerous challenges orchestrated by people who had been in leadership at all levels. There is need for practical efforts by successive leadership to foster a deep sense of patriotism and togetherness.

Chigozie Chukwuleta is the Deputy Station Manager, UNZIK FM

May God remember us – Emma-Eze

Emma-Eze

I AM sure that a 60-year- old man is no longer a child.  In fact, he should be the one who can be said to be well articulated, well mannered.

  What I am seeing in Nigeria today is quite unfortunate. Nigeria at 60 is still a child crawling; a child at 60, crawling is abnormal. So looking at Nigeria at 60, I can tell you it’s irresponsible. The only thing is for us to believe in God that there should be hope for Nigeria. Our prayer is that Good will remember us as he remembered Israelites and come to our aid.

Our elders have failed us; even our spiritual leaders are not helping matters. In the olden days, when there is a problem, people run to the church. But today, churches have failed. But we believe God; by his special grace, we will be remembered as a country.

(Mrs Chi Emma-Eze is the Assistant Chief Land Officer and Secretary,  Land Use and Allocation Committee)

Leaders should fulfill their promises – Abdul-Azeez

Abdul-Azeez

MY impression about Nigeria at 60 is mixed. I believe we are going about the unity and sustainable governance wrongly. We have had different people in leadership positions that have promised to do things for  the people, but the results have remained the same and unproductive.

We have gotten to a point where the people are tired, frustrated with the direction of the country. We have been further divided along ethnic and religious lines. The leadership has been poor in listening and delivering the demands of the people.

The only positive thing so far in my opinion, is that people are seeking to be more involved in the politics of the day. We need to put leaders on their toes, ask them the right questions and engage them in the promise they’ve made to the people.

Abdul-Azeez Abu is a NYSC  member

We pray for a way forward – Okafor

Okafor

THERE is nothing to write home about but we thank God. We were agitating for democracy but it is like it’s meant for a particular set of people, not for the masses.

  They will fight to win election, after that, they will use the first four years to do 50% of what they promised. In the next tenure, they will not do anything; it will fall in the blind eyes and ears.

So, I beg God in his infinite mercy to provide somebody that has fear of God, both at the state and federal levels. As we celebrate our independence, we pray for a way forward, not backward. We pray for peace. There is hope. We pray that one day, we will be like America.

Patrick Okafor is a building contractor

Akabogu

Nigeria has made significant progress but … Akabogu

I AM grateful to God that inspite of all these difficulties, we have survived, and that alone is something one should be Happy about.

  Nigeria gained her long awaited independence on 1st October, 1960. Nigerians celebrated that independence with great joy and high expectations. Our fore leaders who fought earnestly to obtain this magnanimous victory and freedom for Nigeria sacrificed so much and were selfless, united and in very high spirit.

  This excellent foundation by our fore leaders has been sacrificed on the altar of selfishness, pride, arrogance, greed, tribalism and religious wickedness by our today’s leaders.

 Notwithstanding, Nigeria has made significant progress since her independence in the areas of education and commerce but less progress in the areas of science and technology, innovation, politics, security, agriculture, health, intellectual development and structural development.To move ahead, Nigerians should drop selfishness, tribalism, pride, religious wars, greed and over dependence on oil money.

Ada Akabogu is a business woman

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