• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary turns protest in Delta

Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary turns protest in Delta

The Nigeria 62nd independence anniversary marked on Saturday, October 1 was more of protests than celebration in Delta state, as various agitated groups registered their grievances over the state of the nation.

In Asaba, those who were willing to attend the annual celebration at the Cenotaph, venue of the anniversary celebration, could not have easy access to the venue because of the political rally embarked upon by thousands of Peter Obi Supporters.

BusinessDay observed the passion-driven youths came out from different communities of Delta North Local Government Area around 8 am to embark on the one-million-man march in Asaba.

It was gathered that a similar solidarity march took place in Effurun and Warri areas of the state as the crowd made up of mostly youths took over the major roads in the cities, declaring that they would not have another Muhammadu Buhari as the president of Nigeria.

Donatus Ebere, one of Peter Obi’s supporters, during the march in Asaba, , told newsmen that what the group witnessed was more than a one-million-march

He said, “We are having a one-million-march in solidarity with Peter Obi but what we saw today is no longer one million. You see that the crowd here is about two million

Read also: Edo on standstill as Nigerians rally support for Obi’s candidacy on Independence day

Before we were to choose between two evils. Now, we have Peter Obi over the two evils. So, in 2023, the youths will massively vote for Obi, he said

He said that the one-million-march would be translated into one million PVCs in Asaba.

He appealed to supporters to ensure they get their PVCs so that the one-million-march will not be in vain.

On his part, Anthony Osanekwu, vice chairman, Association of Contributory Pension Retirees, Delta State, in an interview with newsmen in Asaba frowned at the high level of poverty in the nation and blamed it on politicians.

“Politicians abused the power handed over to them at independence in 1960 and the military came in 1966 to put the country back on track. Along the line, the military also derailed. They were also drunk with power & there were coups & counter coups, neglecting infrastructure development, whereas the population was increasing. That is where the problem of Nigeria escalated.

“When the military handed over power to a democratically elected government in 1979 we thought that they have learnt their lesson but their action showed that they learnt nothing. So the Military came back in 1984 to continue where they stopped. What transpired between then & 1999 when they handed over to politicians,is now history.

“The present day politicians are worse than politicians of the yesteryears whereby our legislators earn between N13-15m monthly in a country where they pegged minimum wage for workers at N30,000 a month is absurd.

“A country where the four refineries are not working & the workers have been earning salaries in the past 10 years is unthinkable. A country where a single man can steal over M120bn, is a serious affair.

A country where governors take as much as N20bn as security vote per annum, unaccounted for, is more than robbery. A country where governors & their deputies go with their salaries for life after 8yrs, whereas they can’t pay the retirement benefits of workers who worked for 35yrs is evil.

“Our Politicians have to show that they are serious if this country must survive,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ifeanyi Okowa’, the Delta State Governor, while addressing a handful of citizens who attended the independence anniversary, however said there was a need to celebrate our freedom”.

Okowa, represented by Kingsley Otuaro, his deputy, noted that October 1960, remained a memorable day in the lives of Nigerians. He urged Nigerians not to forget the sacrifices of our leaders who fought for freedom.