President Buhari in his Independence Day speech had said, “For 1st of October 1960 to happen, all hands were on deck. East, West, North all came together to celebrate freedom. Today should not only serve as a reminder of the day the British handed over the reins of power to Nigerians, but also unified Nigerians from all ethnic groups, religions and regions.”
Falana, while speaking on Sunday Politics, a Channels Television programme, noted that Nigeria is still grappling with underdevelopment due to its failure to remove structures mounted by the British colonialists.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast yesterday (October 1) was thanking the British for uniting us, I was wondering where that was coming from, because the colonial regime engaged in divide-and-rule,” he said.
When asked if it had been so far so good since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Falana said it had been “so far, so bad.”
The activist added, “Nigeria has refused to get it right; whereas, in 1960, Nigeria was ahead of many countries in Asia, including, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the rest of them. Today, some of these countries have frog jumped; they have left us as a Third World country and they have metamorphosed into First World.
“So, for the majority of our people, 1960 provided an opportunity to start all over again but, unfortunately, the nationalist politicians who took over the reins of power from the British colonial regime did not decolonise the country and the psyche of our people. And all of them retained the colonial structures. The laws and ordinances were simply changed to Act of Parliament. The institutions were left intact.”