The true definition of independence is freedom from the control or influence of others. Independence is important for a country because it’s the reason for the country’s existence. Concisely put, independence gives a nation the right to decide its own fate; it promotes confidence and self-esteem, as well as motivation and patriotism.
Independence guarantees freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the likes. It is a simple concept. At its most basic level, it means having full autonomy over one’s own life. It also means “Not dependent”, or not having to depend on anyone or anything else. It also means being strong and able to survive alone. Whereas colonialism is a direct control over a subjugated nation, neo-colonialism is an indirect involvement.
We are no longer under colonialism; yet our beloved country Nigeria is heavily indebted to the tune of #35.5 trillions according to the figures from the Nigerian Debt Management Office. Meaning that each citizen now owes and still counting. The indebtedness to the Chinese and others, is purely on account of poor leadership and lack of proper management of our resources. The Chinese examples of economic neo-colonialism have been identified as the worst form of enslavement and modern day colonization.
Neo-colonialism, which is the use of economic control to influence, is no longer front-of-thought. However, it still exists. As of today, many territories are noted as non-self-governing by the United Nations. Our beloved country Nigeria may ultimately be part of such, if we continue with the recklessness and fiscal indiscipline that characterized the past and present inglorious administrations. This nation earned over $400 billions in less than a decade from only one source of revenue and has nothing to show for it, other than non-existing infrastructure.
October 1st, every year is the commemoration of our beloved country Nigeria’s freedom from British rule, which was attained on 1st October 1960. It would therefore, be 61 years in a few days. As of today, over 100 million of our compatriots go to bed with empty stomach. There are high incidents of killings, kidnapping, and banditry. There’s 33.5 per cent unemployment and many other excruciatingly exposure, as a result of nepotism and poor leadership. For reasons enumerated our beloved citizens cannot celebrate, sad realities of our nation at 61.
Nigeria has become a bad influence and a big shame to the entire continent of Africa. Fraudulent and criminal activities at the highest level of governance; corrupted public office holders, including the police hierarchy as exemplified by the FBI indicting DCP Abba Kyari. There are other high profile criminalities in the government of Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari RTD, that pride itself as fighting corruption. Sad and shameful!
They even exported their incompetence and corrupt tendencies to the venue of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), inducing homeless foreign nationals in New York to stage fake rallies in support of the failed system, similar to how they criminally infuriated genuine protesters like the #EndSars, which resulted in killings of citizens by the Nigerian military on October, 20, 2020. Unfortunately, the hope of getting it right is slim because of the fraudulent electoral process – unfortunately so.
Assuredly, the Almighty God, the creator of heaven and Earth, in His infinite being, shall intervene, similar to the experience of the Israelites in the land of Egypt and very recently, over two decades ago in Nigeria. I recalled the message of our patriarch Daddy GO then; he had said Nigerians should congratulate themselves; “Happy New Year”. This was in the middle of the year in 1998. I join millions of our compatriots home and abroad for a repeat of Daddy GO’s prophetic proclamation again.
Conclusively, permit me to use the story below as a timely warning and wake up call for power drunk political actors. It is the life of a lion. No matter how long it lives, the greatest lion will eventually die miserably. That’s the world!
They may die young from injuries they sustain while defending their pride. They may die old, enfeebled by age. At their peak, they rule, chase other animals, catch, devour, gulp and leave their crumbs for hyenas. But age comes fast.
The old lion can’t hunt, can’t kill or defend itself. It roams and roars until it runs out of luck. It will be cornered by hyenas, nibbled at and eaten alive by them. They won’t even let it die before it is dismembered.
Life is short. Power is ephemeral. I have seen it in lions. I have seen it in old people. Everyone who lives long enough will become very vulnerable at some point. Therefore, let us be humble. Help the sick, the weak, the vulnerable, and most importantly never forget that we will leave the stage one day.
ARISE ‘O COMPATRIOTS
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI