A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Mike Ozekhome, has said that he was extremely sad about Nigeria at 60.
Ozekhome explained that after 60 years of existence as a nation, Nigeria still grapples with the issue of social justice, equity, religious and inter-ethnic tolerance.
He stated this on Monday in Abuja while articulating his thoughts on how the country has fared after 60 years as an independent nation, NAN reports.
He said: “I’m extremely sad about Nigeria at 60. Surely, a 60 year and above old man or woman, is already a senior citizen; a grandfather, or grandmother. I’m one.
“This means such a man or woman has grown; or is at least, presumed to have grown, in maturity and development but I’m sad that Nigeria, “our own dear native land” has neither developed nor matured.
“I’m sad that she hasn’t even been allowed to take full advantage of the various constitutions fashioned out by our Colonial Masters and various indigenous governments to give her meaningful nationhood after she was named “Nigeria” in 1897.
“It doesn’t matter that there is an absence of social justice, equity, egalitarianism, mutual respect, religious and inter-ethnic tolerance.”
“I am quite sad that we grow geometrically in population, yet, arithmetically in growth and development,” the lawyer continued.
“Nigeria, by available UN data, at mid-2020, ranks number 7 (2.64 per cent) in the list of most populated countries of the world, with a population of about 206,139,589 people.
“I’m sad indeed that we only operate civilian governments, but never democratic governments.”
Ozekhome also said that it was worrisome that young Nigerians were still struggling to obtain a mere first degree at ages 26-32.
“The same Nigeria had, once – upon – a – time, in the 50s and 60s, produced ministers, military governors and Heads of State at the same 26 – 32 age bracket.”
“Government’s wanton breach of citizens’ fundamental rights, reckless disregard to court orders, and brazen desecration of the rule of law.”
Recall that Nigeria will celebrate its 60th year anniversary as an independent country on October 1, but the Federal Government says the celebration will be low-key due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said that the theme of this year’s anniversary celebration; “together shall we be” had been chosen to forge a more united and cohesive Nigeria.