• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Still on Nigeria@62

Binzak Azeez

Nigeria recently commemorated 62 years of her political independence from the yoke of British colonialism. As usual, the political elite and the few beneficiaries of the current political establishment claimed to have celebrated the fortunes self rule has brought to the nation. But every average politically conscious Nigerian pondered on the subtle manipulation of the country’s political independence by the indigenous political leaders.

In the real sense, the annual felicitation of Nigeria’s political independence from the British colonialists is a thanksgiving of the indigenous political elite for magnitudinous and unfettered opportunities and privileges they accrued from managing the country’s public affairs and appropriating its resources for personal aggrandisement.

For the masses, Independence Day is an annual ritual of lamentation. It is one of the national dejected days every politically conscious Nigerian reflects on the deteriorating condition of the country and the annual false narrative often being peddled by the political elite, which portrays the evolution and sustainable development of the nation.

A larger percent of Nigerians perceive the degrading state of the country as irredeemable. Only a few people still see light at the end of the tunnel. The hope against hope perception has created a disproportionate move from the country to the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, among others. A migration from Nigeria to abroad is regarded as an automatic transformation to rosy life.

It is saddening that young minds, professionals and industrious middle aged Nigerians are trooping out of the country due to the uncertainty of their future. The ones in the country ventilate their discontent day in, day out. And the Nigerian ruling class acts unperturbed having vast frustrated citizens roaming around. In such a typical clime, nobody is safe; the political elite inclusive. Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. The country is heading towards the survival of the fittest.

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As the 2023 general election is around the corner, the frustrated citizens have been clamouring for genuine leadership transformation. Electioneering period tends to rejuvenate the hope of the Nigerian populace. Over the years, the shadow of new dawn surfaces towards the election and disappears immediately after. So far, there is nothing significant about the 2023 general elections. Ahead of the poll, the cardinal programmes of the major political parties, the ideology of the political gladiators and the orientation of the electorate, among other crucial determining factors, are akin to every previous general election.

The Nigerian populace are currently queuing behind the recycled political leaders. Ethnicity, religion and monetary inducement that have been instrumental in voting patterns over the years are already playing monumental impact in shaping people’s political decisions. Among the same old politicians, these three factors have turned yesterday’s villains to today’s heroes while yesterday’s heroes are now villains in the eyes of the people.

Meanwhile, the 2023 general elections would only produce one winner and a loser as usual. Virtually all the political elite will reunite and share the dividends of self governance after the general elections. They will celebrate the next independence day with a funfair. The masses will be on ground to perform the annual ritual of lamentation. As this cycle lingers on, when Nigerians would really celebrate their independence remains a mystery.

Azeez writes from Newworth LLP, Onikan, Lagos