Nigeria is the poverty headquarters of the world according to world bank
The Nigerian independence day have lost all of it’s glory and excitement. It has become more of a day of sorrow, anguish and regrets for what would have been. Nigeria is being widely regarded as the giant of Africa by virtue of it’s vast natural and human resources, however these abundant resources have been adversely exploited by past leaders of the country who sadly didn’t act in the best interest of Nigeria. Consequently poverty growth rate is on the rise; Nigerian Bureau of statistics showed that 40% of Nigerians live below poverty lines as at 2020. This means that four out of every ten Nigerians are living below $2 per day. Though a closer look at the demography of poverty in Nigeria showed that most states in the northern part of Nigeria have an average of 70% poverty level. This has made the north a very fertile ground for various types of social vice.
Successive Nigerian governments have not done enough to eradicate poverty in all parts of Nigeria. Infact we have watched successive Nigerian governments adopt policies that one can consider pro-north or anti-East. These policies saw the south eastern region lose most of their communities to the neighboring South south and North Central states. Communities like Obigbo in Rivers State, Ohaobu Ndoki in Akwa-ibom, Ezza communities in Benue and many others were affected. This was tactically done to reduce the political and economic influence of the Igbos. While pro north policies were put in place to promote the interest of the north despite their obvious shortcomings in education and commerce. This saw the north controlling top offices in NNPC, CBN, FIRS and so many other parastatals. This favoritism-approach-to-governance also helped the north hijack major industries in the country. By pursuing these unhealthy agenda, our grossly endowed nation became a perfect haven for resource mis-allocation. Nigeria became notorious for putting square pegs in round holes and history became a big threat to our nationhood being that it was built on falsehood, malice and vendetta.
Presently, the unripe grapes eaten by the past leaders of Nigeria have set the teeth of the present generation to the edge. The unhealthy structure of reducing the influence of some people while creating more opportunities for others can no longer function (since the populace have become more informed). However, as is associated with every struggle for change globally, the beneficiaries of the existing structure is resisting any form of reform that will cost them the privileges they have now begin to see as their right. It has become evident that the only way to sustain this unhealthy structure of Nigeria is through brute force. The various agitations we are seeing in Nigeria is not unconnected to this unhealthy structure. However, the government has found a way of using brute force to keep the nation as one. To sustain this current structure at all cost, the Nigerian government has found the democratic structures insufficient for the protection of the nation’s sovereignty. We are currently practicing a quasi military regime under the supervision of a former military general.
The biggest damage that has been done to our psychology as a nation is reversing the political environment to the pre-war political mood. The hate among the ethnic groups is more glaring now than ever before. The challenge that the next regime will face will be “working out these ethnic differences within the tenets of democracy”. The rising voice of secession can not be eradicated by force. We need to seek democratic solutions to the problems of Nigeria. Military solution for democratic problems can only escalate tension and pave way for the emregence of another brutal military regime. Military solution won’t exactly eradicate the secession ideology, rather it will erode the democratic structures of Nigeria. Currently, Nigeria appears to have crossed the Rubicon. However, since jaw jaw is better than war war, it’s never too late to dialogue. The government must listen to the people and act in the best interest of the nation. Hard decisions must be made and the keyword in making those decisions should be JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR ALL
Democracy has given power to the people to determine how they want to be governed. The government is a representative of the people and consequently, the actions of the government should be a reflection of the people’s desire. Nigerians are tired of suffering and smiling. They want the country to work for them and not just for the politicians. The secession ideology is a reflection of this discontent. This is the right time to set the record straight. Resources should be handed over to the communities, who in turn pay taxes to the local and state government. The unitary system of government has failed and any further attempt to hold on to it will be very inimical to the unity of Nigeria. It is very worrisome that 61 years into our Independence, we are yet to move past this very stage of separation. We need to set the stage right, so that sustainable development can set in. We are going to be a great nation but we need to get the basics right first.