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 As Nigerians are celebrating the 62nd anniversary of nationhood some residents of Ogun have continued to bear their minds on its journey so far In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abeokuta they expressed mixed feelings on the political social and economic development of the nation over the years In his views Mr John Akpan a Political Scientist who went down memory lane said Nigeria had demonstrated promising traits of greatness in its early years after independence Akpan recalled that Nigeria was competing favourably with the developed countries of the world because of the accelerated growth from the emerging Northern Eastern and Western regions due to the healthy competition among them He said that the parliamentary system of government which Nigeria practiced at independence allowed powers to be devolved to the regions and they controlled and managed their resources for their respective development Akpan explained that the system of government however gave way for a confederal system of government which the nation adopted when it became a Republic in 1963 The political scientist explained that the fortune of the nation took a downward turn when the military rulers who took over reins of power after the Jan 15 1966 coup suspended the Federal Constitution and began to rule by decree He noted that the states which were created by the military government to replace the regions became weak and subservient to the centre and there were no longer checks and balances Nigeria made meaningful progress in its first five years of independence but the gains could not be sustained by the military dictators who took over from the founding fathers of the nation he said Contributing a Public Commentator Mr Segun Akindiya said that the inability to manage resources from the discovery of oil was a major setback for the nation With the advent of the oil money the leaders abandoned agriculture mining and other sectors which were the mainstay of the economy he said Contributing Mr Jamil Abolade the Chairman Nigerian Bar Association NBA Abeokuta branch also blamed the country s underdevelopment on bad leadership Abolade noted that the developed nation s of the world had been fortunate to have committed leaders who had turned their fortunes around According to him the bad leadership has been responsible for other problems like infrastructural decay epileptic power supply corruption bad health and educational systems and insecurity The lawyer stated that Nigeria s population was the only thing that had continued to experience steady growth while other important areas of the country had remained stagnant He called for quality investment in the education sector as part of efforts to transform the nation Also Mr Akeem Lasisi Chairman Trade Union Congress TUC in Ogun expressed displeasure over the situation of the nation Lasisi said that successive governments had veered from the vision path and legacies bequeathed to them by the founding founders Consider the fact that the Naira which in the 1960s and 1970s was stronger than the dollar and many other currencies has now become so low in value because of bad managers of the economy Our roads and other infrastructure are nothing to be proud of because successive governments have abandoned them as they pursued after ringworm and leaving out leprosy Our core values have gone down the drain while our political religious traditional and other leaders watch and and do nothing In some cases it is pathetic to observe that the same leaders and elders who should be the custodians and protectors of these once cherished values are the ones destroying them A society whose core socioeconomic values education and healthcare services are destroyed is in itself destroyed that explains where we are now he said Lasisi however said that the challenges of Nigeria were surmountable enjoining the leaders to make the people core centre of governance He advocated quality investment in the people of the nation through education adding that quality of the people of a nation determines its level of development Also Mr Damilola Simeon the state Chairman National Association of Nigerian Students NANS blamed the low performance of the nation since independence on bad leadership Simeon explained that the leadership gap had led to disunity corruption lack of productivity among others adding that the situation had resulted in underdevelopment of the country Nigeria has not been seriously and sincerely investing in education capacity building and empowerment of youths and engaging them meaningfully Nigeria requires a national leadership with the understanding and capability to set the tone and direction for national growth and development Such leadership needs to galvanise all citizens irrespective of ethnic geopolitical or religious leaning for collective growth he said Simeon then called on youths and other Nigerians to jettison violence and build a united front to surmount the many problems of the nation I don t see anything to celebrate at 62 other than the fact that we are still practicing democracy he added In his reactions Dr Kunke Ashimi the Chairman Nigeria Medical Association NMA said that lack of proper planning remained the bane of development of Nigeria Ashimi explained that the situation was responsible for the poor state of the country s health sector over the years Nigeria s health indices will continue to nosedive as long as there are no visionary planning and proper census Until government stops seeing education and health as social services the country will continue to witness lower health indices These two sectors which successive governments have continued to neglect are the bedrock of our development Government has to forecast the needs of its citizens to plan ahead We must take our population census seriously so that we can plan I remember in those days people travelled down from Europe and Asia to the University College Hospital UCH in Ibadan to access healthcare but reverse is the case now The reason is that our leaders could not see beyond those days while other countries put the future in the foundation of what they were doing he said Ashimi decried the continuous Exodus of medical personnel from the country on daily basis adding if something drastic was not done the health sector may die a natural death If we must celebrate our 62nd independence anniversary it must be low key because there are no achievements to be celebrated he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
Lack of resources management, bad leadership, major setback for Nigeria- Stakeholders

As Nigerians are celebrating the 62nd anniversary of nationhood, some residents of Ogun have continued to bear their minds on its journey so far.

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News Agency of Nigeria

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abeokuta, they expressed mixed feelings on the political, social and economic development of the nation over the years.

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John Akpan

In his views, Mr John Akpan, a Political Scientist, who went down memory lane, said Nigeria had demonstrated promising traits of greatness in its early years after independence.

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Eastern and Western

Akpan recalled that Nigeria was competing favourably with the developed countries of the world, because of the accelerated growth from the emerging Northern, Eastern and Western regions due to the healthy competition among them.

He said that the parliamentary system of government, which Nigeria practiced at independence, allowed powers to be devolved to the regions and they controlled and managed their resources for their respective development.

Akpan explained that the system of government, however, gave way for a confederal system of government which the nation adopted when it became a Republic in 1963.

Federal Constitution

The political scientist explained that the fortune of the nation took a downward turn when the military rulers who took over reins of power after the Jan. 15, 1966 coup suspended the Federal Constitution and began to rule by decree.

He noted that the states, which were created by the military government to replace the regions, became weak and subservient to the centre and there were no longer checks and balances.

“Nigeria made meaningful progress in its first five years of independence, but the gains could not be sustained by the military dictators who took over from the founding fathers of the nation,” he said.

Public Commentator

Contributing, a Public Commentator, Mr Segun Akindiya, said that the inability to manage resources from the discovery of oil was a major setback for the nation
“With the advent of the oil money, the leaders abandoned agriculture, mining and other sectors which were the mainstay of the economy,” he said .

Jamil Abolade

Contributing, Mr Jamil Abolade, the Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abeokuta branch, also blamed the country’s underdevelopment on bad leadership.

Abolade noted that the developed nation’s of the world had been fortunate to have committed leaders who had turned their fortunes around.

According to him, the bad leadership has been responsible for other problems like infrastructural decay, epileptic power supply, corruption, bad health and educational systems and insecurity.

The lawyer stated that Nigeria”s population was the only thing that had continued to experience steady growth while other important areas of the country had remained stagnant.

He called for quality investment in the education sector as part of efforts to transform the nation.

Akeem Lasisi

Also, Mr Akeem Lasisi, Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Ogun, expressed displeasure over the situation of the nation.

Lasisi said that successive governments had veered from the vision, path and legacies bequeathed to them by the founding founders.

“Consider the fact that the Naira which in the 1960s and 1970s, was stronger than the dollar and many other currencies, has now become so low in value, because of bad managers of the economy.

“Our roads and other infrastructure are nothing to be proud of, because successive governments have abandoned them as they pursued after ringworm and leaving out leprosy.

“Our core values have gone down the drain, while our political, religious, traditional and other leaders watch and and do nothing.

“In some cases, it is pathetic to observe that the same leaders and elders who should be the custodians and protectors of these once cherished values, are the ones destroying them.

“A society whose core socioeconomic values, education and healthcare services are destroyed, is in itself destroyed; that explains where we are now,” he said.

Lasisi, however, said that the challenges of Nigeria were surmountable, enjoining the leaders to make the people core centre of governance.

He advocated quality investment in the people of the nation through education, adding that quality of the people of a nation determines its level of development.

Damilola Simeon

Also, Mr Damilola Simeon, the state Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), blamed the low performance of the nation since independence on “bad leadership”.

Simeon explained that the leadership gap had led to disunity, corruption, lack of productivity, among others, adding that the situation had resulted in underdevelopment of the country.

“Nigeria has not been seriously and sincerely investing in education, capacity building and empowerment of youths and engaging them meaningfully.

“Nigeria requires a national leadership with the understanding and capability to set the tone and direction for national growth and development.

“Such leadership needs to galvanise all citizens, irrespective of ethnic, geopolitical or religious leaning for collective growth,” he said.

Simeon, then called on youths and other Nigerians to jettison violence and build a united front to surmount the many problems of the nation.

“I don’t see anything to celebrate at 62 other than the fact that we are still practicing democracy,” he added.

Kunke Ashimi

In his reactions, Dr Kunke Ashimi, the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), said that lack of proper planning remained the bane of development of Nigeria.

Ashimi explained that the situation was responsible for the poor state of the country’s health sector over the years.

“Nigeria’s health indices will continue to nosedive as long as there are no visionary planning and proper census.

“Until government stops seeing education and health as social services, the country will continue to witness lower health indices.

“These two sectors, which successive governments have continued to neglect, are the bedrock of our development.

“Government has to forecast the needs of its citizens to plan ahead.

“We must take our population census seriously so that we can plan.

Europe and Asia

“I remember in those days, people travelled down from Europe and Asia to the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, to access healthcare, but reverse is the case now.

“The reason is that our leaders could not see beyond those days, while other countries put the future in the foundation of what they were doing,” he said.

Ashimi decried the continuous Exodus of medical personnel from the country on daily basis, adding, “if something drastic was not done, the health sector may die a natural death”.

“If we must celebrate our 62nd independence anniversary, it must be low key, because there are no achievements to be celebrated,” he said.

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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