Independence Day: There Is Really Nothing To Be Celebrated- Tinubu

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Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has
said Nigeria has achieved little or nothing in this present administration, so
there shouldn’t be any elaborate celebration to say the least tomorrow. Here is
a press statement released yesterday by him as Nigeria gets set to celebrate her 54th independence. It’s a long read tho, but as usual you know
where he is coming from and going to. Continue after the cut.


“We commemorate this Independence Day because the nation has
survived despite its many challenges. We dare not celebrate because the nation
has not flourished as it should. 54 years our national trek began with hope and
promise, peace and unity.
“Today, the nation staggers beneath the weight of trouble
stacked upon problem multiplied by hardship. Peace and unity seem to have
yielded the moment to violence and discord. We exist as a political unit on a
map but we do not prosper as brothers and sisters in one nation, under one flag
and pursuant to one accord. We have lost our road and now seem to be on the
road of the lost. I am proud to be a Nigerian and would not attach my life to
any other nation but genuine patriotism should not induce blindness. We are
burdened by too many resolvable challenges that remain unresolved,” he said.
He noted that: “This is not a time for fake cheers and
elation at the present state of things just because the calendar has touch this
day. We need to use this hour soberly by taking stock of the obstacles mounting
before us and of the hard direction in which we seem to be heading. I fear this
direction, if further taken, will lead us not home but to an appointment with
failure and national destitution.  

At
their inception, every nation is a dynamic interplay of assets and liabilities,
promises and threats, capabilities and contradictions. As time passes, the
nation is supposed to move forward in mature progress so its assets, promise
and capabilities increasingly outweigh their negative counterparts.
“In recent years, Nigeria has become victim to an opposite
dynamic.

 Nigeria currently is saddled with the reprobate
leadership Awo, Zik, Sardauna and Tafawa Belewa feared. We have entered
unchartered territory not so much because we are expanding the outer bounds of
national progress. We traverse such ground because this government leads us
into places where angles fear to tread and where sensible man should not go.
“Never has an elected government in Nigeria employed
religion as a tool to divide the people, setting Nigerian brother against
brother in a manner that allows this administration to function at the basest
level of governance while seeking to establish a political domination that
seeks no greater purpose than its self perpetuation.  Our nation was supposed to advance, year by
year, toward greater democracy. Instead, we rush into the pit of arbitrary,
imperious rule that smacks of despotism.
“If we whitewash the reality of our existence by lying that
all is well just because this is Independence Day, then we ignore the troubling
signals at our collective peril. 

The incessant attempts to stigmatize
and physically intimidate a peaceful political opposition and the
militarization of elections are features of a perverse democracy, a democracy
run at gun-point and with a swift and eager trigger, Brazen assaults on the
judiciary, the flippant and frequent violation of the constitution and the rule
of law, and the elevation of corruption 
to making it a new and perhaps the strongest arm of government are the
instruments that now shape our nation. These things are not the fare of
celebration. They are the impetus for political reform and change.
“54 years is enough to have built upon a solid foundation.
If we had embraced a few lessons from India and other countries in similar
situations like ours, we would be far advanced from where we presently
are.  It is sad enough that we have not
built well upon the foundation set by our nation’s founders. Sadder still is
that those who currently lead us have even weakened and corrupted that
once-sound, hopeful foundation.
“Under the Jonathan government, the vaunted Transformation
Agenda is but an elaborate name for old-fashion pocket stuffing. They do not
have a national blueprint or vision. They do have a blueprint and vision for
excessive self enrichment. Their equation is simple. You work, they feast. You
toil, they grow fat. You seek a decent wage; they pilfer the collective
treasury to enjoy a king’s ransom.



”Meanwhile, national planning has
been haphazard and people unfriendly. For most of our 54 years and for all of
the past fifteen, honest men have been given scant opportunity to lead Nigeria.
We have wandered from the path of economic empowerment for our youth and the
mass of our people. Nigeria has become adept at creating economic refugees,
brain-drain migrants, decimated institutions and the building of a venal
”Wallet Economy” benefiting only a handful.
“As if this cynically induced poverty is not sufficient
hardship, this government compounds the public burden by sowing discord with
the alacrity that a wise government would plant charity and accord. Rather than
promote religious tolerance and harmonious living, this Government believes its
electoral chances are enhanced by promoting ethnicism, internal divisions, religious
suspicion and scapegoating. Successful nations are not built this way. Have we
not learned the lesson that we paid the high price of civil war to learn.
“We emerged from painful civil war with the singular
objective of establishing an equitable, tolerant society. We sought to unite
all into one people with a sense of one nation. We would turn our diversity
into one of greatest assets. Decades later, it seems the memory of that period
has faded. Political figures of dubious quality dabble with forces they may not
truly comprehend and have no chance of ultimately controlling.
“This supposedly democratic government struts the stage,
using our diversity to further divide us. An asset is turned into a wedge
separating friend from friend, neighbour from neighbour.

 But
I know that our diversity is a unique strength we can use to erase hunger,
banish poverty, limit civil strife, build tolerance and enrich our civic
education and awareness by learning so much from each other.
“While Nigeria’s current leaders failed to build upon the
foundation provided them, there are some rays of hope.  On this day, I commend the people of Lagos
and other progressive states in the southwest and throughout Nigeria. You have
tried your best to keep faith with the best practices and policies of those who
founded this nation. Against strong odds and the strong arm of a reactionary
federal government, you have improved the foundation then built upon it. If
only what you have done could be replicated by the federal government.



”On the contrary, 16 years of PDP
rule has been a period of diminishing return. The longer they rule, the less
benefit the people derive. Nigeria now needs a ‘common sense revolution’, a
revolution that calls forth a return to decency, probity, transparency of
process and fairness in outcome. This is done not by subterfuge, divide and
rule and turning Nigeria in a field of discord or a street of broken
institutions. It is accomplished by honoring the principles of democratic good
governance and economic justice. It is done by persuading the people they are
better off as one instead of better off tearing at each other’s throats.
“Governance is about trust. And this government is not even
trusted by itself. That is why it does nothing except feed itself. This is not
the road for a better Nigeria. We must proceed from this 54th anniversary to
embark on a common sense revolution that brings about progressive change for
the benefit of most of our country men and women, our youth and the vulnerable
among us.
“I speak here of a Common Sense revolution that promotes the
well being and improve the lot of the average person, regardless of  his or her ethnic, religious or regional
affiliation. In this way, Nigeria will not only be unified in national purpose
it will have recovered its better path. That will be an Independence Day we can
and should celebrate. Until then, we strive to keep from falling further.

“We dare not remain lost forever.  I am positive that help is on the way.
Nigerians should be prepared for change. We must rescue Nigeria from those set
to cause it irreparable harm. The change I talk about is the only route to our
deliverance from 16 years of the PDP locusts. Nigeria is ours to keep and its
democracy is ours to save, the statement read.

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