HomePoliticsNigeria's 63rd Independence: Calls...

Nigeria’s 63rd Independence: Calls for Restructuring Amidst Challenges

As Nigeria marks its 63rd independence anniversary, the mood in the country remains somber and filled with uncertainty. In stark contrast to other United Nations member-countries celebrating their independence, Nigeria finds itself grappling with a myriad of issues, leaving its citizens disillusioned and calling for change.

China, one of the member-countries marking its independence anniversary today, stands proud in its superpower status. Cyprus commemorates its nineteenth year as a member of the European Union, reveling in its tranquil and prestigious status. However, Nigeria stands apart, enveloped in gloom, uncertainty, and discontent.

For many Nigerians, national identity has become an embarrassment, and thousands are choosing to leave the country, seeking better opportunities abroad. This mass emigration not only drains the nation of much-needed skilled labor but also enriches other countries.

On this day, only the political class in Nigeria seems to exhibit any sense of celebration, albeit subdued. Corporate entities place congratulatory advertisements in the media, serving as reminders that they are still in business, but for most Nigerians, regardless of social class, melancholy, anxiety about the present and future, and anger are palpable.

Nigeria’s performance across various aspects of national development falls below expectations. The nation has struggled to establish a resilient and stable democracy. Economically, mismanagement persists, with a stark contrast of poverty amid abundant resources.

Insecurity has plagued Nigeria since its independence in 1960, tarnishing its global reputation and pushing it closer to state failure. Socio-political indicators paint a grim picture for its population of 213.4 million, as revealed by the World Bank.

Several factors contribute to Nigeria’s unhappy trajectory, but one key restraint is its distorted constitutional basis and the failure to unite its diverse ethnic nationalities. Despite 63 years of aspiring to “unity in diversity,” Nigeria remains, as noted by late statesman Obafemi Awolowo, a “mere geographical expression.”

The late premier of the defunct Northern Region, Ahmadu Bello, insisted on the need for strong autonomy for diverse nationalities to achieve national greatness, a sentiment echoed by many.

Federal constitutional arrangements have historically been recognized as the guarantor of harmony, development, and resilience in diverse polities. Nigeria’s current centralized authority deepens mistrust and hinders effective resolution of the country’s challenges.

Nigeria’s current predicament is evident in its global rankings. On the UNDP’s Human Development Index 2023, it stands at 164th out of 191 countries. The country’s GDP per capita lags far behind the global average, causing widespread poverty.

Unemployment rates are alarming, especially among the youth, with inflation rates exacerbating the economic hardships faced by Nigerians. Insecurity continues to plague the nation, with multiple terrorist groups and criminal activities causing immense suffering.

With a weak leadership and a flawed federal system, Nigeria is at risk of failure. It ranks 15th on the Fragile States Index 2023, a clear indication of its precarious state. The country’s divisions, weak institutions, and centralized policing system further exacerbate insecurity.

Insecurity has manifested in various forms, from Islamic terrorists in the North-East to bandits in the North-West, Fulani herdsmen in the North-Central, and separatist agitation in the South-East. The South-West and South-South regions also face their share of challenges, including cults, criminal gangs, militants, and oil infrastructure theft.

Kidnappings have become a grim reality in Nigeria, with thousands falling victim to abductions. The country hosts three of the world’s six deadliest terror groups, contributing to its poor global ranking in organized crime.

Nigeria’s political strategy of centralization has failed to foster a sense of unity among its people. Regional autonomy and visionary leadership have been lacking, leading to a decline in the nation’s fortunes. The once-promising federalism that characterized the early years of independence has given way to centralized power and a weakened state.

The solution lies in embracing true federalism, with the 36 states as federating units. This change is seen as vital for Nigeria’s survival, as it would reduce divisive struggles for central control, unleash the states’ productive potential, and enhance local security.

Despite its challenges, Nigeria possesses immense potential, with a vibrant population and abundant natural resources. To achieve greatness, the country must make the critical choice of restructuring into a true federation. As the Brookings Institution emphasizes, nations sometimes face the choice of federating or risking national dissolution.

The current leaders have an opportunity to lead Nigeria toward peaceful restructuring, ensuring that the nation’s fundamental contradictions and centrifugal forces do not lead to implosion. Cooperation and renegotiation of the union are the paths to a brighter future, and time is of the essence as Nigeria reaches a critical juncture in its history.

As Nigeria celebrates its 63rd independence anniversary, its citizens hope for a renewed sense of purpose and unity that will guide the nation toward a brighter future.

Download our official mobile app

Most Popular

More from Findwhosabi

Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate , July 13, 2024

Findwhosabi  News has obtained the official dollar to the naira exchange...

The External Reserves Increase To $35bn In July.

Nigeria’s external reserves increased to $35.05 billion on July 8, 2024,...

Naira To Dollar Exchange Rate , 12, July, 2024

The exchange rate between the Naira and the US dollar according...

Dollar to Naira Exchange Rate – July 11, 2024

The black market exchange rate for the dollar to the naira...