Nigerians across the federation have continued to react to the 63rd independence anniversary of the country, expressing knocks and kudos on the journey so far.
From Kwara State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) congratulated Nigerians, asserting that “the country’s march to greatness is on course, and on an even stronger footing, regardless of its own share of the challenges of nation building that every society goes through.
“What is certain is that the country has always emerged stronger from any of its challenges and the current ones, whatever their magnitude or shades, will not be an exception,” the Governor said in a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye in Ilorin, commemorating the 63rd independence anniversary of the country.
“I join Mr. President, the leadership of the other arms of government, and all thought leaders to call on Nigerians to remain united and committed to the collective good. Together, we’ll build on the successes of the past years and break new grounds in political maturity and inclusiveness, economic growth, and collective prosperity,” the statement added.
In his reaction, Professor Hassan Salihu, a lecturer in the Political Science Department of the University of Ilorin, said the event is remarkable even though the attainments of the nation are not so impressive for two basic reasons.
He argued that, based on its endowments, the nation should have been louder in recounting its achievements.
Professor Salihu further argued that countries that were far behind Nigeria in some decades past, have since overtaken it by their recorded levels of development.
“Indeed, that our nation has to struggle to be noticed in global affairs, is a sad reminder of how far we have missed our way up the ladder of development.
“There is however a ray of hope in the new government based on the major statements and actions being expected to be taken in changing the narratives about the country.
“President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s government has no choice but to perform as its failure is unthinkable because of the implications for the nation,” he added.
Also reacting, Dr Waheed Balogun, of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, expressed mixed feelings on the 63rd independence anniversary.
“One is pleased with the sovereignty from the hegemony of colonialism.
“Although certain elements of neo-colonialism are still in existence within our economic and cultural circles, on the other hand, one is not excited that Nigeria as a sovereign nation, endowed with unparalleled wealth, in natural and human capital, is still crawling after more than six decades.
Dr Waheed observed that “technologically, we have not gotten to our supposed destination but it is obvious that we have made tremendous progress compared with the pre-independence period.”
He postulated that for Nigeria to attain its natural position among the global community, “there must be total revamping of her erstwhile exportation capabilities, rejuvenate the oil and gas sectors by fixing her moribund refineries to their full capacities and minimize corruption tendencies among others.