Is Nigeria independent?

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I woke up to the sound of my blackberry buzzing signifying incoming messages. As expected many of those messages were from fellow Nigerians celebrating our Independence anniversary,a lot of ‘Green white Green’ display pictures. Just as I did at the same time last year, I got lost in thought of what had been,what should have been and what might never be.
I thought of our fore-fathers and imagined if they were alive today,would they have said ‘happy independence anniversary’ ?. Was this what they fought for and some died for? Would they be proud of. themselves or are they to be blamed? I remember when I was in primary school and for the first time in the year 1993,saw buses decorated with leaves as a result of the ongoing riot due to M.K.O Abiola’s election victory being truncated. I remember fear, death and tears. With the hope of democracy my father and mum dreamed. They told me as soon as we got rid of the military,my daddy’s salary would be enough to give us good food, decent car and we might even afford to get cable TV. I wanted democracy,I loved democracy,I believed in Nigeria.
1960,Nigeria got her independence, did Nigerians become independent?, we got our own flag and anthem, but were we in control of our destiny? Just as we were trying to cope with the entity called Nigeria,we became blessed with crude oil….or cursed?.
After the civil war,the coups and counter-coups, military looting n disregard for human rights,in the year 1999, we had democracy, not the artificial ones we had been getting in bits and scraps,we had the real democracy. I was glad.
In the year 1999, my secondary school teachers went on strike for the first time,garri became too expensive,corruption became uncontrollable and my dad still complained about his salary. The year 2000 was worse,poverty was everywhere, there was no security,Naira’s value had crashed,Nigeria was dying…
This wasn’t the better Nigeria my parents told me about. The same people that killed us with uniforms,just changed their clothes but are still as vicious. People favoured by the government got richer,Mr Akani the hard working bricklayer staying down my street couldn’t make ends meet anymore, he committed suicide.
1st October 2012, 52 years after her independence we are still hoping for change,we are still dreaming of peace, corruption still reigns,lack of proper infrastructure persists. Independence and democracy aren’t enough. Its only when Nigerians are independent,would the essence of Nigeria being independent make sense. ‘Happy 52nd independence anniversary’..says who?

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