24th May 2024
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Imo – Nigeria at 59: Cheers, Knocks, regrets at Independence

Imo – Nigeria at 59: Cheers, Knocks, regrets at Independence


Earlier today, the President and Commander –in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation on the state of affairs.

There is no doubt that the President and his team are in the know of the dire situation the country finds itself.

He has also raised hope for a better tomorrow as reflected in some of the policy thrust of the government.

The issue of insurgency and other criminal activities has nonetheless created huge hole in the national purse with collateral consequences of humanitarian crises in the affected states and regions.

Fight against corruption, though it has been reinforced, it remains a hydra-headed monster in the Nigerian space. Cybercrime and collusion of Nigerians with foreign counterparts to defraud their own country are new areas that seem to be causing so much hemorrhage on the country.

$9.6 billion P $ ID alleged scam is a case in point. If true, why would few citizens of these country collude with foreigners to fleece the country of such huge resources that can be ploughed into strategic areas of the economy.

Education system is in doldrums with children getting worse off because public schools, which ought to be affordable have been denied of the basic needs of trained and committed teachers coupled with facilities that are in deplorable conditions.

What is fact is that President Buhari led administration has done so much in the area of food sufficiency and breaking even while investing in non-oil sectors. However, it is wholly not encouraging to note that the herders-framers skirmishes have put down the expected yields to the ground.

The question should be, is the Federal government doing anything about these challenges. It is incontrovertible that President Buhari means wel, going by the efforts so far made in the ailing areas in the polity.

NewsTrack however spoke to some Imo indigenes Nigeria who spoke on the state of the nation of the nation on Independence Day:

The Chief of Protocol and a Chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chinaemerem Enweremadu has called renewed spirit among Nigerians, calling for attitudinal change if the country must move forward.

Speaking to NewsTrack, he said that what is on ground is not encouraging going by the crimes perpetrated by the governments in the past.

He said: “Nigeria is an ailing state. I say so because you cannot discuss nationhood when every tribe, ethnicity and regions perceive their supposed fellow Nigerians as enemies. What makes most news are killings, robbery and kidnapping with other code names.

“Coming to my state, Imo, our people are in a dire state. We have been taken back to the primitive age. What litters my state are ecological crises as roads have not only failed but have become dungeons and gullies. The buildings are almost collapsing on us.

“I salute the courage of our Governor, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha for his resolve to be different. For the first time in a very long while, due process is being observed in administering the state. Civil Service have been restored to take their place.

I wish to plead with Ndi Imo to please be patient with the Governor. What he is doing is to lay a solid foundation for better and sustainable results in whatever projects he will executing for the state.”

For Sir Okere Ugochukwu, a Chieftain of All Progressives Congress, he said there is hope for the country. He observed that the present APC led Federal government is laying a solid foundation for the future.

“I must say that the country and her citizens have suffered untold negligence. What we are witnessing in the polity especially in the area of security challenge is a function of disenchantment among the citizenry. These are bottled up misdeeds of the past.

“In the area of insurgency, I believe it is more political in nature. Otherwise, tell me where they get money to procure such heavy military equipment and other logistics that follow. Our President has shown commitment with high sense of responsibility.

“In the area of economy, what we have is the true state of our economy and it is growing the policies already put in place. Issue of food sufficiency and agribusiness cannot be over emphasised.

“I call for patience and support for Buhari led government and I believe we will be better for it.”

The head of the Business Community in Imo, the President of Owerri Chamber of Commerce (OCCIMA), Mr Everest Okpara, congratulated Nigerians having come thus far.

“A man of 59 years has come of age. In our national life I believe we still have something to relish on. We have daunting challenges facing the nation. For us in business, we cannot utilize available huge human, natural and material resources because of the high cost of doing business. We have this challenge in the power sector. Some of us in the medicals have had to incur losses occasioned by unsteady power supply. In some cases, you lose a machine due to outages.

“Again, our governments at all levels need to fix infrastructures. It makes things easier.

“The situation calls for renewed spirit and vision for those of us in organised private sector. All we need is encouragement; I believe the organised private sector can take up some of these challenges.

While it has been a situation of mix feelings as Nigeria celebrates 59, Hon. Ambrose Nwosu of Peoples Democratic Party has said that there is nothing to celebrate.

He said that 2019 anniversary calls for sober reflection, saying that those at the position of authorities have failed the country.

“At 59, Nigeria is still a centre stage of uncertainty. The economy is in shambles; ethnic animosity is becoming entrenched by the day. Most of the deadly conflicts we are facing today is nothing but ethnic cleansing. One tribe or one ethnic group is in locked in eternal conflicts or the other. It has been bloodletting. It calls for reflections for those in the position of authority.

Speaking about Imo State, the Supervisory Counselor for Education in Ezinihitte Mbaise local government area of the state said the celebration calls for a solemn renewal of collective resolve of the present Governor Emeka Ihedioha led administration to rebuild Imo.

“The state can best be described as representation of man inhumanity to man. It is sad case of where people gave some people general good in trust but they turned around and squandered that trust. Imo looks like a pitiable portion ravaged by ecological problems.

“Our roads are in bad shape with gullies; Infrastructures this present government inherited are death centres. As I call for emotional and practical support for the present administration, I urge our Governor to remain focused to his resolve to rebuild and restore the state to its supposed position in the comity of states.”

For Mr. Ikechukwu Nwaopara, lawyer and social crusader, he said though there are flashes of efforts in some sectors but that there is nothing to celebrate.

He decried the situation of insecurity, while describing power as the debilitating factor against economic prosperity.

“Though we see some flashes of efforts in the polity from the federal government. All these efforts mean nothing with the state of insecurity in the polity.

“It is even more worrisome to me that Rule of Law is being obeyed under President Muhammadu Buhari administration. Rule of Law is the heart of democracy all over the world. These are areas of urgent amend. It does not matter how one may feel over an issue. We must all yield to the law of the land,” he stated.

Speaking to NewsTrack, Mr Uwandu Ikenna, an undergraduate in the Humanities, Imo State University, he expressed optimistic that Nigeria will still get to the promised land.

He was quick to discount the leaders, labeling those in the position of authority a woeful. “They have failed us in all ramifications. I believe we are getting into a stage where people will no longer rely on them for anything.

“Our focus must shift to private sector initiative but that may come with anarchy because people will not suffer to sort themselves out and you come to them for tax. It is unacceptable.

“I must sound it loud and clear that there is need for total review in our education system. We do not have functional education and this is the reason we are asked to learn menial jobs as skills under entrepreneurship. This is totally unacceptable.

“As Nigerians we must eschew bitterness and vendetta in our relationships among one another. This is one area we are fast derailing. Ethnicity and tribalism are serious destructive factors in nationhood”.

“He advised politicians to  display patriotism and be nationalistic in their policies and views. I believe they are the real problem of this country”.



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