NIGERIA @ 52 NOT WORTH CELEBRATING                                                                           

Good day my Lords in this courtroom, I appreciate your unending interest in the things of the state, may the God of justice pay us in due currencies.

Her name is Adesuwa, she was born to my dear uncle about 5 years ago, she was about 8kg at birth, and beautiful was an understatement to describe her looks and comeliness. Adesuwa was of so much promise as she responded positively to all the challenges that come with child birth. She became bigger by the day, she cried only when necessary, she ate in due time, she took her mother to the toilet in the middle of the night as it is natural for young ones like her. In this awesome state, my uncle and the rest of the family travelled abroad including Adesuwa.

Just last week, two weeks after they returned to the country, I was at Adesuwa 5th birthday party just to find out that Adesuwa could not walk nor speak. She was spoon fed, directed by her parents in all manner of activities. At 5years of age, Adesuwa had never been to the four walls of any school apart from her home. Is Adesuwa worth a 5 million Naira party or should that money be spent on her health conditions?

Just like my uncle at the birth of Adesuwa was Tafawa Balewa at the birth of the Nigerian state in 1960. He spoke with so much hope and vigor beholding the promising Nigeria right before him; he promised our colonial masters that we would by no means fail them for the lack of determination. But had he looked 52 years into the future, maybe he would have patterned his speech differently.

Once again, just like Adesuwa, the Nigerian Nation is not worth the fireworks, we are not worth a penny celebration. What is there to celebrate in a gun that cannot be shot, or a horse that cannot be rode? What do you celebrate in a drum that cannot be beaten, an eagle that cannot fly or a fish that forbids swimming? What is there to celebrate in the Nigerian Nation? Ignorance producing education, unsafe security, monopolistic economy, death care under the guise of health care, deaf communications, epileptic power holding or death trap transportation?

What do you celebrate in a man who lives with his parents at 52? What do you celebrate in a Nation whose leaders [rulers is the right word] have become totally insensate “one who confuses cockiness with confidence, tactlessness with toughness, strong-manship with statesmanship” as Prof. Niyi Osundare rightly submit.

My Lords, I therefore submit that if Nigeria at 52, being dependent on many other nations through import for livelihood is worth celebrating, then the sanity of those celebrating should be called to question.

Nigeria at 52











Nigerians through all ages will always remember October 1, 1960 as a day they got hold of what has eluded them for years. Independence from the hands of colonial masters, Great Britain, was a great achievement to compensate the struggles of political icons like Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Jaja Wachukwu, and Obafemi Awolowo amongst many others. In a country like Nigeria where life expectancy is 47 years, you need not to be told that you are lucky and privileged to reach 52 years. I cannot but say Congratulations to my great country on her 52nd birthday.

Life in itself is full of up and downs, any one at the age of 52 would have ideally undergone several retrogressions and achievements in life.

You don’t expect everything to be smooth. Why most of us fail to value what we have is due to the fact that we compare ourselves with other people. We emphasize on the achievements of others and neglect their failures, their weaknesses and their ailing sectors. The same goes for a country like Nigeria; I was flabbergasted at the endless list of invectives catapulted against Nigeria on her 52nd birthday. Youths engaged themselves in posting all sorts of complaints and obnoxious ideologies on social networking sites. You don’t want to juxtapose Nigeria with United States of America; 238 years to 52 years. The difference is inundating!

Who is Nigeria? I guess nobody bears that name except a group of about 167 million individuals who reside in the Western part of Africa. The fact is that we are Nigeria, you and I; we are all responsible for the growth and progress of this country; male and female, young and old, rich and poor, literate and illiterate, Christian and Muslim.

The developments we have experienced as a nation are enough reasons to celebrate; Nigeria of 1960 is miles away from Nigeria of 2012. Once we were a nation with two Universities but now Nigeria can boast of over 100 universities. Fifty-two years ago, you will need to join a queue at NITEL to make a phone call but now you can call with your mobile phone anywhere and at anytime. Effective road network coupled with sound technology application has portrayed the nation in good light.

The most populous black nation in the world has gone through military juntas of 1966-1979 and 1983-1998 and yet survived as a nation. The nation survived 30 months of civil war that led to the colossal loss of over three million people to the cold hands of death. It was a bloodbath that launched the nation into oil boom. Despite the daily assault of Niger-Delta militants and terrorist attacks of Boko Haram on hapless innocent citizens of Nigeria, Nigeria still stays united and strong. Only few nations would have suffered similar fate and still remain united.

Once there is life there is hope; there is still hope for Nigeria, we just need a golden syrup of optimism and prepare ourselves for the bright future ahead. I strongly believe that one day; the prayers of our heroes past will get answered when Nigeria becomes a place where peace and justice reign. Happy birthday to Nigeria!!! It is worth celebrating

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. Nigeria @ 52; worth celebrating?

Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or