Independence anniversary: Nigeria far from citizens’ expectations – Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Monday lamented the slow pace of development in the country, 59 years after the attainment of political independence.
Atiku, who decried Nigeria democratic experiment in a statement issued to mark the nation’s 59th independence anniversary, said Nigeria’s founding fathers would be disappointed at how bad things have turned, despite the end of military rule in 1999.
The statement read: “On October 1, 1960, our nation’s founding fathers could never have fathomed that 59 years after birthing the largest black nation on earth, we would be facing a situation where we do not have a free press, our judiciary being under attack, and our youths and activists, who should ordinarily be the future of Nigeria, would be facing the very real threat of arrest and intimidation should they speak out about the state of the nation.My dear citizens of Nigeria, I could go with the flow and the cliche and say all is well with Nigeria, but as the late Chinua Achebe once wrote, ‘when an adult is in the house, the she-goat is not left to suffer the pain of parturition on its tether”.
“I could call for prayers, as others would indeed call for today. I could also call on Nigerians to show more understanding, as indeed many have said in the past and will undoubtedly say again today. But I am mindful of the fact that the time for rhetoric has long since passed and now is the time for all lovers of Nigeria to take concrete steps to aid Nigeria’s progress, by not just praying and showing understanding, but also to take democratic action to ensure that the ideals of our founding fathers –The ex-Vice President also lamented what he called the persecution of judges even as he blamed political leadership for the depth of poverty in the land.

Babatunde

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