sixty years later between disillusions and hopes

Nigeria’s 60th anniversary will continue to be very limited and anti-Covid-19 measures will require it. Several local governments, including the state of Lagos, have already announced that they are canceling their military parade. The ceremonies will therefore be concentrated in Abuja, where a parade is planned. President Muhammadu Buhari speaks early this morning on radio and television, but not publicly as originally planned. But Nigerians’ interest in this anniversary date is limited.

There is therefore nothing flamboyant about this 60th anniversary of independence in the midst of an economic crisis for the most populous country in Africa. And interest in these festivities is still limited in the country of fractures and faces complex challenges, with its more than 90 million people living in extreme poverty.

Green and white balloons were hung in shops, and Lagos’ illuminated signs were adorned with the colors of the national flag. It was in Lagos that on October 1, 1960, Nigeria’s independence was proclaimed in the city’s racetrack.

Rachel Awopejo was born three days later. Like many people her age, she says she has since witnessed the slow decline in her country, whose history was marked by civil war and a series of military coups. “At that time the country was going well,” she tells our correspondent, Liza Fabbian, everything was cheap, it was possible to make money, to save money. There was not all this uncertainty, it was possible to go anywhere you wanted. But today, everything is very difficult. Our leaders have swallowed everything. And if you do not know people in high places, you will not get anywhere. They destroyed Nigeria. ”

Same story with Dayo. Our correspondent Moses Gomispushed the studio doors to Nigeria Info, a private radio station broadcasting from Port Harcourt and Lagos. He followed a satirical program hosted by journalist Dayo Elusakin.

For 60 years, the political discourse has not changed

Alone behind the console, he has 4 hours a day. This 30-year-old journalist with a polished look relies on his network of investigators to comment on local and national news. For Dayo, the current political class is far from living up to Nigeria’s 60 years of independence. “Politicians do not bother to tackle problems, they always talk about roads, talk about street lighting, ‘electricity for everyone, access to water … If you look or listen to archives from 10, 20 years ago, … 50 years ago , politicians of the time already promised roads, public lighting, electricity and running water. Are we where we were 60 years ago? Absolutely not. We have made progress. But are we where we need to be? Obviously not. ”

In the satire tone, Dayo takes risks in the air and does not hesitate to condemn the shortcomings of Nigerian society without filter. He believes that despite the shortcomings of the democratic system, Nigerian public opinion is more and more attentive and demanding. let’s make progress, Dayo continues … I think it’s just a matter of time before something drastic happens, a revolution, if you will … I’m not talking about a bloody revolution. But more of a mentality revolution, I think that’s what Nigerians need most. ”

The first economic power on the African continent thanks to its oil, Nigeria, is a demographic giant plagued by extreme poverty and plagued by corruption, but the country is also plagued by widespread insecurity. In the north in particular, attacks by jihadist groups have left more than 36,000 people and nearly two and a half million displaced since 2009.

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