OBINNA EZUGWU

Lagos based lawyer and president emeritus of Aka Ikenga, an Igbo think tank, Chief Goddy Uwazurike (Ide), has described Nigeria as a toddler still crawling at 60 years old while its mates have become grandparents.

Uwazurike who regretted the country’s uninspiring journey to nationhood, 60 years after independence in a statement on Thursday, noted it’s a country weakened by poverty of thought, lack of vision and is fast sliding down the cliff.

According to him, “Nigeria is a 60 year old toddler! It is also better described as a pediatric adult! To be described as such means that at 60, Nigeria is still crawling when its age mates are already grandparents!

“The biggest weakness of Nigeria is poverty of thought! Nigeria, through its leaders, still reasons like a toddler! This is why myopia is its regular thinking mechanism. A toddler has peculiar needs. .food, sleep, cuddling and playing ! Anything beyond these is a burden. Kids hate burdens.”

Uwazurike noted that the country got it wrong right from 1914 when the British colonial government led by Lord Fredrick Lugard amalgamated Northern and Southern protectorates to give birth to Nigeria.

“Nigeria got it wrong from 1914, during the amalgamation. The only reason Lord Lugard had for the amalgamation was for the economic wealth of the South to sustain the North. The succeeding British Adminstators sustained this imbalance and imposed a horrendous political system that is hemorrhaging us. The quality of the leadership in this country is so hollow that the good people are considered stupid. So, most good people have learnt to join the bad people since they cannot beat them,” he said.

“All aspirations of the people should be for a level playing field. It is only a level playing field that will enable good people to triumph over bad people during elections. But, first, a far sighted leader must emerge. It is only a leader with a statesmanship quality who will think of making the country workable for generations yet unborn, including his grandchildren!

“Vision is a sine qua non for Nigeria to understand the importance of the new normal. Yesterday, the Nigerian government approved a humongous contract of $1.9B to build a railway line in the desert and into Niger Republic. Now compare this to any contract that will uplift the economy of Nigeria! Enugu Onitsha Exp way? Enugu PH. Exp way, Lagos Badagry exp way, East West Rd, Ibadan to Ilorin, Lokoja Abuja Rd, Owerri Umuahia Rd, Aba to Uyo, Calabar to Zaki Ibiam? In the new normal, we are spending heavily on non economic areas!

“Nigeria in the next 10 to 30 years will be stumbling on the downward slope of big cliff! Why? Because we are executing a white elephant project known as AKK. Here we are spending billions laying gas pipelines from the oil producing areas to the far north and unto the desert countries and finally to the Mediterranean countries. How do you fund the project? The security of the pipelines? The answer is that myopism of the leadership will definitely derail this country!”