By Bayo Oluwasanmi
Sixty-two years after independence, we are shamed for our moral failures. Nigerians are under severe socio-politico-economic and emotional strain.
It has been 62 years since Nigeria got its independence from Britain. Today, as an independent country, 70% of Nigerians still live in shacks, 80% of our youths are unemployed, and the economy is moribund. We are bedeviled by ancient evils.
Sixty-two years after independence, we are shamed for our moral failures. Nigerians are under severe socio-politico-economic and emotional strain. Our youths are constantly undermined. Our women and children are oppressed. Nigerians live without freedom. We live in fear and insecurity. We are slaves, bought and sold, or the effective slaves of our governments. We are hungry, starving, or diseased. We are in primitive refugee camps. We are suffering under torture or the immediate threat of death. We are diseased and soon to die without treatment.
At 62, Nigerians are prisoners, refugee camp inmates, or in death camps. We are subjected to the most barbarous treatment. Our children perform dangerous forced labour. We are cowering under the killings and kidnappings of Boko Haram terrorists and Fulani terrorists. We are second-class citizens in our own country. Our aged and infirm senior citizens barely subsist under dangerous health conditions. After sixty-two years of independence, we still live under the realistic threat that war, disease, famine, extreme poverty, deprivation or a dictator may destroy our lives.
At 62, we still live in fear of arrest and prison, disappearance forever, forced labour, genocide, mass murder, and unnatural death. We are still denied the basic rights of freedom of speech and religion. We are still being arrested and detained without trial. If we dared criticize the government and especially its dictator, General Muhammadu Buhari, death may follow. After sixty-two years of independence, Nigeria is a country at war with itself, inflicted with government-created torture, terrorism, hunger, and disease. We still suffer one kind of repression or another. Police arrest us for the most minor criticism of the government. We live in fear of saying or doing something innocent that would land us in prison, get us tortured, and have us flogged. Even trying, to be honest, can be dangerous. To get a confession, the police beat us like animals and torture us.
Why do we celebrate our independence? How can we celebrate independence with bondage – economic bondage, educational bondage, political bondage, healthcare bondage, and religious bondage- all around us? Nigeria at 62, would not life be better for you than in Nigeria?