Non-governmental organisation, Centre for Change and advocacy group, Women Arise, say Nigeria still have a long walk to freedom.
In a statement issued by the organisations’ president, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, on Wednesday, to mark the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary, they noted that they see the Independence Day as an avenue to reflect on “where we are as a nation” so as to collectively chart a way forward for growth and development.
The organisations lamented the country’s struggle with corruption, social crises, and economic dilapidation since it got independence in 1960.
They stated that the time has come for Nigerians to rebuild the country.
The groups also called on government at all levels to make the welfare of Nigerians a top priority.
In addition, they demanded that government must do all within its powers to ensure the rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok and Dapchi school girls just like the other women, men, and children in the captivity of terrorists must be liberated.
“The Centre for Change and Women send greetings to Nigerians on another milestone anniversary of the Independence of our dear country Nigeria,” the statement said.
“It is a milestone because the nation has attained 60 years of independence from colonial rule.
“But beyond the celebration and goodwill messages that usually characterize this kind of significant moment, the Centre for Change and Women Arise see today as another avenue for us as Nigerians to reflect on where we are as a nation, so as to collectively chart a way forward for ourselves as a people.
“There is no doubt that in the last 60 years of our Independence, our country has sunk in pandemic corruption, social crises, and economic dilapidation – all of which have led, year-in, year-out, to a systematic decline in the living standard of our people.
“Our much respected values of patriotism and uncompromising emphasis on integrity and honesty have been thrown to the dogs by the corrupt elements that have seized leadership positions at various levels in our country.
“Education is in practical ruins, just like critical infrastructures are in shambles with healthcare virtually in peril.
“Security of life and property is no longer guaranteed as lawlessness pervades everywhere, even among the law enforcement agents.
“Nigerians live in frustration, agony, hopelessness, misery, pain, and suffering.
“Almost 70 percent of Nigerians today live in abject poverty while a few are super rich at the expense of the downtrodden.
“Nigerian youths are continuously faced with uncertain future because of the greed of a privileged few.
“Meanwhile, Nigeria is the only country that we can call ours and there is no other place to call home.
“Therefore, the time has come for us as Nigerians to re-build our country because every problem, no matter how difficult, has a life span.
“We call on government at all levels to make the welfare of Nigerians top priority as well as earnestly begin a process of rebuilding hope, which is already nearly lost in the minds of Nigerians.
“We also demand that Government must do all within its powers to ensure the rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok and Dapchi school girls just like the other women, men, and children in the captivity of terrorists must be liberated.
“Independence anniversary is also an auspicious occasion to demand an end to all forms of violence against women in Nigeria.
“We can only hope that, henceforth, the dreams of our founding fathers shall become a reality.
“It is then that Nigerians will have their hope rekindled that they would be FREE from the social and economic slavery they have wallowed in despite the 60 years of Independence. Long live Nigeria!”