It is not all gloom and doom, there is still hope” — Read Atiku Abubakar’s Independence Day Message to Nigerians

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 – Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress – are not set aside on the altar of tyranny.All is not well when judges are persecuted for enforcing the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens.

All is not well when Nigeria is now officially the world headquarters for extreme poverty and out of school children, yet the cost of maintaining those in government continues to grow, while the needs of the governed are not being met.And certainly, all is not well when the media cannot freely express itself without the fear that those who wield the big stick would use it on them for saying things as they are.

So, rather than just call for prayers today, I am calling on all Nigerians to believe in Nigeria’s betterment, to work for Nigeria’s betterment, and to insist that no one in Nigeria, no matter how highly placed, shall be bigger than the laws of our land.It is not all gloom and doom, however. There is still hope. Much hope. I took time to listen to a recent remark made by the Emir of Kano, HRM Muhammed Sanusi II about why we need to pay more attention to the issue of girl-child education

Babatunde

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