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Nigeria @61: Leaders Optimistic As Citizens Express Disappointment Over State Of Nation

Many Nigerians have expressed disappointment as the country marks 61 years since independence.

They lamented that Nigeria’s trajectory has in recent years been on a nosedive.

But prominent leaders at the national and state levels expressed optimism that Nigeria will get it right.

They advised citizens to remain hopeful and contribute their quota to the peace and progress of the country.

We’re hungry, insecure’

Ruth Pam, an office assistant and resident of Jos, the Plateau State capital, expressed disappointment in Nigeria’s level of development, adding that her basic expectation of security as a citizen of the country had not been met.

“We have been suffering and we don’t know where to go. The problems of this country are numerous; insecurity is everywhere. There is no part of this country where criminality is not the order of the day. The cost of living is very high, prices of goods and services are unimaginable,” she lamented.

Ibrahim Ibrahim, another resident of Jos, expressed a similar reservation when he told Daily Trust that he thought things would be better with the coming of the present government to power but was grossly disappointed when things became worse. “Things are becoming unbearable to the masses. In terms of infrastructure, we thought it was going to be a revolutionary government, but there is nothing to be proud of,” he said.

It was a similar feeling in Benue State where ordinary Nigerians opined that there was nothing to celebrate as the country marked 61 years.

Sule Akaha, a resident, said: “As a country, we are also not where we should be in terms of economic stability, employment, infrastructure and security. Imagine how our naira continues to depreciate daily, especially under the President Muhammadu Buhari government.”

Rosemary Oche, expressed dissatisfaction with happenings in the country as she contended that her expectation had in no small measure been dashed. Oche said the independence was a reminder that Nigerians were in more bondage today than they were when the founding fathers agitated for freedom from colonial rule.

In Minna, Niger State, a cross-section of citizens expressed concern over the rising state of insecurity and poverty in the country, saying the government was not doing much to address the challenges.

Mohammed Hussaini, a resident of Minna, said, “We have a lot of problems especially lack of good roads, hospitals, epileptic electricity supply, lack of water among others. We truly need help.”

Fauziya Aliyu Goro, a student, said her expectations had not been met and expressed disappointment at the level of insecurity while urging the government to fight it to the end.

According to Joy Nwokocha, an entrepreneur, the constant hike in the prices of foodstuffs and other commodities was a source of concern.

Mixed reactions in Kano, Kwara, P/Harcourt, others

Many people in Kano expressed dismay at the way things were going in Nigeria.

Malam Idris Nasiru, a civil servant, said the government ought to have declared 2-day mourning due to issues of inflation and insecurity.

Yaya Bana, a commercial driver, said Nigeria as a nation had failed its people.

But Ibrahim Yusuf, a trader at Abubakar Rimi Market, said Nigerians should thank God for his mercies.

“We have achieved a lot as a nation because, despite our differences, we are living together.

“In Kano, for instance, we have peace despite our huge population. We have a productive population as evident in the way businesses are expanding. We have many youthful millionaires in Kano,” he said.

There were mixed reactions for residents of Ilorin in Kwara State. While some residents believed the country’s trajectory had been blighted by injustice, corruption, selfishness and bad leadership, others said Nigeria had made remarkable progress in the area of infrastructural development.

Prince Ayo Bamidele said celebrating Nigerian at 61 was a bad omen as there was nothing worthy of jubilation in the country.

“Doctors are running out of Nigeria, corruption is increasing, fuel and electricity hike, insecurity and poverty, schools still shut down but political campaigns are going on. The exchange rate is high, bad governance, the standard of living is high, kidnapping, harassment, tribalism, to name but a few. It is quite unfortunate,” Bamidele lamented.

However, an Octogenarian, Chief Sam Awoniyi, said there was hope despite enormous challenges.

“Nigeria is on the right path; though we have our differences, they count far less than values, virtues and common aspirations that unite us as a nation. We have so much to be grateful for and in which we should rightly take pride,” he said.

Isah Abubakar, a youth representative in Kaduna, said despite all the challenges since the country’s return to democracy, Nigeria had made progress. He said Nigerian citizens must take responsibility by actively participating in the political process, governance and monitoring and evaluation.

He added that the government must do more in creating an enabling environment for businesses to attract foreign investors.

A resident of Edo State, Johnson Ighene, said his expectations had not been met by both the state and the federal governments.

A resident of Port Harcourt, Thankgod Horsefall, said Nigerians were too hungry to roll out drums for any kind of celebration.

A 56-year-old trader in Awka, Chinweuba Nwaora, said leaders had failed the citizens.

A mechanic in Lagos, Zakariya’u Bello, stressed the need to address the issue of the high cost of electricity, rising cost of food items and make the economy friendly for small businesses to thrive.

DT

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