As Nigeria commemorates her 54th independence anniversary, our correspondents, Mashe Umaru Gwamna, Mahmud Jika and Najib Husaini, went to the streets and sought the views of the residents in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on essence of the occasion. Excerpts:
Bilyamin Yakubu, a driver with the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Abuja: I’m happy and thankful to God for sparing my life to witness the 54th independence. Also, I’m happy for Nigeria and the entire citizens who found themself among the living and also pray for the nation to have peace, love and understanding among irrespective of religious or tribal inclinations.
Hassan Mubarak, karu site: It is indeed a thing of joy and happiness for Nigerians, even as the nation have issues with the development.
But one major factor or problem which I want to draw the attention of the government to is need to fast track the economic development of the country. There is no any change in the economic development, today people are suffering as things have become more difficult; and the issue of bombing and killing of innocent people and vandalizing of public facilities have become a minor thing now.
Alhaji Abubakar Musa, a driver: For me, instead of being independent, I would rather prefer we remain under the colonialism, where we would be enjoying the remnant that fall from the masters staple, because even as a sovereign country, we oppress ourselves by ourselves, where is the independence then? There are absence of many rights and privileges stipulated in the Nigerian constitution, where everyone has freedom of expression, and owning land and other properties in any part of the country as a citizen, but many of our houses were demolished and nothing is giving in return to us. We are faced with the problem of insecurity in the country, which is expected to be tackled by the government. If the solutions of these problems are found, we will be happy and always be the first to celebrate the independent.
Ramond Yalla, at Wuse market: I’m overjoyed and totally glad to found myself among the living who by God grace to witness the marking of the independent Day. I have the intention of attending the event, but am s afraid of going crowded places. I’m sure to celebrate the moment at home with my family.
Ibrahim Sulaiman Ahmad, a staff of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation ( NACOMYO), Abuja: The essence of struggling for independence by our fore father is to resist the dictatorship of the colonial masters, but the situation seems to the same or becoming worse than what we had before. Imaging, we have a lot of resources in the country but yet our further leaders are having problems of developing their career due to poor educational system. The government should provide infrastructure facilities to boost the educational system, so as to make simple but efficient, in order for the youth to go on with their education successfully. Also, I’m calling on the government to please assist in considering polytechnic and colleges of education students by fulfilling the promise it made to the lecturers, which made them to call off their strike action. So, our youth will concentrate on their education.
Mr. Chris Igudu Odaka, in Gwarimpa : What we are celebrating today is not about the leaders that govern us, but we are only celebrating Nigerian existence as a nation. The vision and dreams of our founding fathers are yet to be fulfilled, and therefore, for now our leaders have failed the Nigerian state.
Rahmat Abdulraham Rahmat, a shop owner at Karu site: Protecting the life and property of the citizenry should be the top priority of any reasonable government, but today killing of innocent lives is no longer news. So the occasion calls for Government to stand up to its constitutional responsibility of protecting the life and property of its citizenry.
Mr. Joel Sani, a civil servant: Celebrating Nigeria at 54 is what many of us had wished to see, so we pray for the unity and strong brotherhood among all the ethnic groups across the federation. We look forward to see the greatness of Nigerian state, but this can only be achieved if the government is able to stamp out corruption, the body language of our president no doubt encourages it. So, let the president lead us well, in the war against corruption and mismanagement of tax payers’ resources.
Miriam Ibrahim, an Economist: Nigeria has come a long way since her independence, and I feel we have achieved a lot in some sectors but from 1960 to 1980 the economy was booming, but now is a story. I think the aviation ministry has done a lot courtsey Stella Oduah, also Minister of Agriculture has done well.
Samuel Loyo, a serving member of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC): 54 years is a very long time, but looking at our achievements and developments ,5 decades now, we have achieved very little compare to what we have. We can do more, if our leaders should stop looting the nation’s resources and channel them to the right places, and then we will become greater giant of African.
Abel Ireza, a student: I’m not happy about the anniversary, because it is not worth celebrating, instead of moving forward, things are moving backwards, the government is reluctant on so many issues, such as; unemployment, corruption and terrorism. They need to do more and stop being selfish. We voted for them, they should discharge their duties well.