In August 1957, Nigeria first prime minister was appointed, “Alhaji Abubarka Tafawa Balewa,” his first act then was to formerly petition united kingdom for independence in october 1960 according to the promise made to them in London 2 years earlier. Nigeria wish was granted and they got independence on october 1st 1960 which is 56 years ago.
The founding Fathers of Nigeria as a nation are:~
(1)Alhaji Abubarka Tafawa Balewa(North)
(2)Ahmadu Bello (North)
(3)Baba Obafemi Awolowo (South west)
(4)Nnamdi Azikiwe (South east)
After independence a lot of gains were recorded most especially through our natural resources, western education, creation of our own currency, which is the naira with the amendment of banking laws that put an end to sterling notes. Foreign ownership of Nigeria companies was addressed because most of Nigeria economy was owned and controlled by the foreigners alone before.
In 1971, Nigeria oil was priced at $2.65 per barrel but on october 5, 1973, Syria and Egypt attack Israel which led to the Yam Kippur war and 7% of the world’s oil production was turned off which led to increase in our oil price from $2.65 to $12,60 per barrel in 1973. After this we keep making surplus gains on oil.
At the same time, after independence Nigeria politics was clearly divided along ethnical height. Some of our leaders became greedy for wealth and get intoxicated by power, May 1962 Ibadan riots was due to the issue that arise within the Action Group leaders. While on 15th January 1966 at H-hour 2a.m, the first ever military coup took place and led to the death of one of Nigeria good and reliable leader “Tafawa Balewa” with some other prominent politicians. Series of coups took place after the first one. Another terrible incidents that affected Nigeria was the first Civil war after Ojukwu declared the Republic of Biafra at a press conference in Enugu on 30th of May 1967.
Nigerians have been suffering under bad leaders and rulers, people keep living like slaves in their own nation while the leaders turn themselves to capitalist and are getting more wealth daily. Padding of our budgets yearly is another issue, Nigeria is 56 year old today without having anything to show for it, the nation is now passing through recession presently that is making life more difficult for the masses. The solid education system left behind for us by Obafemi Awolowo has been destroyed, today leaders found it difficult to sponsor education and give us quality education. Graduates in Nigeria today are now Okada rider, shoe cubler, driver, sales reps etc.
Things been equal, we all must continue to believe in a new Nigeria, put all hands on deck and look for the way out of all this mess we found ourselves due to the atrocities perpetrated by some past corrupt and selfish sets of few individuals.
Happy Independence and new month to you all.
AYOLE L. OLAYINKA