By Gloria Abutu
As Nigeria celebrates her sixty third independence anniversary, residents of Adamawa state have called for the formulation and implementation of people-oriented policies to drive socioeconomic advancement of the country.
They made the call while speaking to Fombina News in Yola on 1st October 1960, Nigeria gained independence from British rule.
With agriculture as the mainstay of the economy, Nigerians had high hopes for a promising future.
However after over six decades of self-rule, has the country lived up to the dreams of her founding fathers?
A retired civil servant, Rebecca Kwabe who pointed out that Nigeria has come of age, said the country has experienced technological and educational advancement.
She however decried bad leadership, dwindling economy, insecurity and poverty bedeviling the nation, urging government to be proactive in securing the nation.
“I appreciate our security forces, but we need to do more. Our children are being kidnapped, our schools are not safe, we can not even go to farm anymore because of bandits, the roads are no longer safe for travel”, she said.
“Government must ensure that individuals, families, communities are safe where ever they are and free to do whatever they want to do that is of benefit to them”, she added.
She also called for peaceful coexistence among all citizens to foster unity and development.
Also speaking, a business man, Sadiq Mohammed lamented the hardship occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy.
He therefore called for implementation of policies that will be beneficial to ordinary citizens.
On their part, some civil servants, Rose Anthony Elishama and Lawrence Onime while advocating good governance and peaceful coexistence among all citizens, identified unemployment and high cost of living as major setbacks for the country.
“We have come a long way, but honestly, we are still lagging behind. Let us put aside those things that divide us like ethnicity and religion, they can not even put food on the table.
Let us focus and develop our nation so that we can hand over to our children, a better tomorrow.”
“Our economy is not thriving. A nation that had agriculture, oil boom in the 70s, 80s should not be talking about fuel scarcity. A dollar is now N1,000.
Sincerely, we ought to have gone past this. After 63 years of independence, we are not where our founding fathers will expect us to be. Government must formulate policies that will make this nation stand on its feet again and everybody will be happy.”
They noted that Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources and urged government to harness these potentials for economic growth and development.
Noting that Nigeria has come a long way after sixty three years of independence, all the respondents called for political will on the part of leaders to make and implement policies that align with the yearnings of the people so as to experience meaningful growth.
As Nigeria attains sixty three years of independence, it is hoped that the country’s leaders and indeed all Nigerians will strive towards making the country a better place so as to bequeath a strong and prosperous nation to the future generation.