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Nigeria has gone more years backward than forward – Ohanaeze

Country not where it should be, says PANDEF

THE apex Igbo body, Ohanaeze, in a statement by its acting Sec-retary General/Publicity secretary, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, said Nigeria has gone more years backward than forward.

The statement read: “There is virtually nothing to celebrate at the 60th anniversary of Nigeria. A civil servant retires at the age of 60years. This means that at that age he/she has offered the best of his/her services and initiatives.

“However, at 60, Nigeria is counting losses instead of gains. On security, Nigeria was a non-permanent member of the UNO Secu-rity Council. We contributed troops as part of United Nations Peace Keeping Force to many Nations and they clearly distin-guished themselves.

“Today, Boko Haram, bandits and/or killer Fulani herdsmen are killing military officers, trained with tax payers money, ravaging homes, villages and towns, all because professionalism and mili-tary precision have been relegated on the iota of ethnic chauvin-ism.

“The Police are bastardized on allied sentiments. No Igboman is a commissioner of police in the South-East if not in the entire southern states and may never rise to the position of IGP as they, like in the military, are retired at the peak of their service in order to appoint a junior officer from the core North as dramatized in the present case.

“On health, I thank God that COVID-19 came and exposed the medical under-belly of Nigeria. It caught us unawares and killed many prominent people who could afford any medical bill but had not the opportunity to fly overseas for medical attention due to the embargo on international flights that lasted long.

“In the whole of the South-East for instance, it was only Ebonyi State that had a readily available COVID-19 testing laboratory.

“On the economy, the Naira has continued to nosedive because at 60 years we are still importing fuel in spite of all the oil refineries and billions of naira spent on “turn around maintenance” and in-stead of copying or developing the modular refineries in the Ni-ger Delta, which is not a rocket science, we are closing and de-stroying them.

“A greater percentage of Nigerians do not access dependable drinking water, electricity supply and good roads. We have con-tinued to import virtually everything including toothpick.

“The palm oil, cocoa, groundnut and all other agricultural prod-ucts that sustained the economy prior to the discovery of oil have become history and in gasping for breath in the wake of the COVID-19 onslaught we decided to punish Nigerians the more by increasing electricity tariffs and the fuel pump price.

“In law, the President, without mincing words, informed Nigeri-ans that national interest preponderates over the rule of law and today the DSS can bamboozle Supreme Court judges and a chief of army staff, meant to be seen and not heard in a democracy, could threaten a state of emergency in a region without any re-percussion.

“The lists are legion but that is the long story. The short one is that Nigeria has gone more years backward so that there is virtu-ally nothing to celebrate. We should be bowing our heads in shame in the Comity of Nations.”

REACTING in a similar manner, the apex socio-cultural organi-zation of the South South geo-political zone, Pan Niger Delta Fo-rum, PANDEF, said Nigeria is still crawling at 60, despite its human and natural resources.

National Chairman of PANDEF, and former military administra-tor of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retd, said: “To be very honest, it has been a disappointment that at 60years, Nigeria is still crawling. Somebody that is 60 years old should not be crawling. There is no way a 60-year-old person can be graded with toddler.

“We are not where we should be at this age. And we should take this seriously because whatever Nigeria does is a reflection on what the black man is. We are the largest population of blacks in the world and so if we bring ourselves down like toddlers, that is the way the world will look at every black person.

“There are many nations where there are black people but be-cause of our population, they will be looking up to us. In the whole black race, Nigeria has the largest concentration of blacks, so if Nigeria fails, it is the black race that has failed. We should not be satisfied with being champions of Africa though now there are many African countries that are doing better than we are doing.”

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