Nigeria @ 61: What hurts most – Nwodo

Restructuring, Okwesilieze Nwodo

By Dennis Agbo

First Civilian Governor of Enugu state and pioneer National Secretary who later turned National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo speaks on the state of Nigeria at 61, stating that the nation must be rescued.

What are your remarks on Nigeria at 61 years of nationhood?

Well, in case you have a look at Nigeria at 61, it’s actually a mixture bag. We’ve made some super enhancements in some areas in comparison with the place we had been in1960. If you might be speaking concerning the variety of tutorial establishments we had at independence, possibly you may solely rely on the University of Nigeria Nsukka and Ibadan, however now I’m certain we have now over sixty universities. Talk about secondary and first enrollment, there are large enhancements. On well being establishments, quite a lot of instructing hospitals have sprung up and quite a lot of different privately owned well being establishments.

There is enchancment in highway infrastructure between 1960 and 2021. There are so many airports in Nigeria now and so loads has occurred. The query now’s, at 61are we happy with the place we’re and I feel that the reply is an enormous no. We are anticipated to not proceed to repeat errors of the previous or errors of different climes that we must always have learnt from. We may have made extra progress than we have now completed right now in our nation. I imagine additionally that if we had managed our oil wells correctly … There are two issues I ‘d have loved to be proud of as a Nigerian, if we managed the oil wells very well: One is that the infrastructure in our country is very much below our expectation. We haven’t developed our infrastructure to have a strong basis for the event of Nigeria.

The second one is that we wasted our assets after we ought to have used them to diversify our financial system as a result of if we had utilized the cash correctly, possibly we’d have grown our agriculture which was the mainstay of our financial system. At independence we had grown at leaps and bounds that by now we must always have been feeding the entire of Africa, if not past. So I feel that we have now not managed our assets effectively, significantly when it comes to utilizing them to diversify our financial system and constructing strong infrastructure as a basis for growth of a rustic.

In the previous couple of years, the usual of training has fallen so massively each when it comes to infrastructure and content material. There is an academic hole between those that studied in universities overseas and people who studied right here and so there’s a large fall in training normal. Every navy coup in Nigeria mentioned that our hospitals are simply mortuaries the place folks go to die and each authorities promised that medical tourism would finish and that they’d construct well being establishments in order that no person would want to go overseas for remedy. But these had been guarantees which have by no means been fulfilled; the reality is that the standard of medical care supply in our nation is extraordinarily poor. 

In ICT, a rustic resembling India can’t rank beneath third place, however the place are we in Nigeria with that? Students in most universities on the planet go to lessons with their computer systems and when Covid-19 got here different college students on the planet had been having their lectures on-line however ours sat at dwelling. There are many areas that we want enchancment however the ones that damage most at 61 is what we have now in our coat of arms, Peace, Unity and Progress however the place is the peace after 61 years? Look on the ugly homicide of Dr. Chike Akunyili for no purpose. So there is no such thing as a peace within the nation, the most important downside we have now in our nation right now is huge insecurity, the violence is an excessive amount of and we don’t see a critical effort by the federal government and safety companies to deal with this insecurity. The insecurity at 61 is a large shame for all of us that decision ourselves Nigerians.

Unity, the place are we with unity? The clarion name by numerous ethnic teams on this nation to secede from Nigeria has by no means been so loud, the gulf between the north and the south, between Christians and Moslems, between one tribe and the opposite, the suspicion between one group and the opposite has by no means been this dangerous, no person trusts anyone any extra and that isn’t an excellent epitaph to write down for a 61 yr outdated particular person, I feel it’s a shame for our nation.

How did we get to the place we at the moment are?

I imagine that the nation was simply coasting from yr to yr, numerous leaders attempting to do the most effective they may with no matter assets out there to the nation however as I mentioned, from the start I don’t assume these assets had been correctly managed or put into the most effective use for the nation when it comes to infrastructure and diversification of our financial system. But having mentioned so, these ranges of violence, disunity simply present that our authorities now on the federal stage has failed in one of many issues which have stored Nigeria.

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Nepotism has been performed to such a excessive pedestal that in case you don’t come from a sure tribe and in case you don’t belong to sure faith, you aren’t handled as in case you are an element and parcel of a rustic referred to as Nigeria and that has introduced quite a lot of alienation, quite a lot of stress by numerous teams that they’ll no lengthy keep in a single nation referred to as Nigeria, that they need to transfer on to a rustic of their very own. But once more, the vast majority of Nigerians need Nigeria, however they need a Nigeria that ensures peace, fairness, equity, justice for everyone and they don’t seem to be getting that and since they don’t seem to be getting that, many are agitating for restructuring of the nation.

If we are able to return nearer to the primary structure that we had, possibly, a point of independence can be assured by the federating models in order that they’ll develop at their very own tempo and discover the pure assets that God has given to them so as to develop their financial system and cope with the requirements of life. This restructuring has been resisted very robustly by the federal government on the middle and but it’s so mentioned that at 61 we nonetheless wait to promote crude oil after which the feeding bottle we get from it, we use it to feed 36 states, 774 native governments. Anybody taking a look at this dispassionately will simply know that we’re most likely working loopy on this nation as a result of the necessity to have 36 facilities of growth the place the pure assets of Nigeria are being harnessed is definitely higher than creating these assets at one level and sharing it to the 36 infants and 774 grandchildren.

So if each middle of the federating models is minding their very own enterprise, positively the financial quagmire we discover ourselves in right now won’t ever be the identical as a result of all that the nation is concentrating on is on crude oil which sadly we have now all seen how the worth goes up and down and the way that has effects on every thing that’s taking place in our nation. I feel that we have to transfer away from that.

On Progress which is the third arm of our coat of arm; there is no such thing as a means you’ll be able to progress with the extent of insecurity that we have now now. Dr. Akunyili simply went to obtain a posthumous award on behalf of the spouse who went to the University of Nigeria with us by the alumni affiliation and he couldn’t drive dwelling from Onitsha to Enugu. So how will you be speaking about progress? Children will go to high school and a whole lot of them are kidnapped and what number of checkpoints do we have now in Nigeria that no person stops them and these kids are taken into the forests for weeks, mother and father who’re battling to pay college charges at the moment are elevating cash to pay kidnappers and have their kids again in a rustic the place there’s authorities. The entire factor leaves you with a sense of hopelessness. So the insecurity is huge and it has affected our meals safety, our financial system and even our sense of effectively being.

So, we have to get up at 61and know {that a} 61-year- outdated man that’s affected by the kind of sickness that we’re struggling  is simply destined to die any second from now and we won’t permit Nigeria to die, we simply should do no matter is required to rescue this nation.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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Nigeria @ 61: What hurts most – Nwodo

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