October 1, 2020: Is Nigeria independent or dependent at 60? – By Prof. Okechukwu Nwafor

Celebrating October 1 is a way to evoke the nostalgia of colonialism. With the current national ruin, one must accept that colonial nostalgia is a soothing balm. It is antithetical to the devastating memories of postcolonial crises. Based on this, in my mind, Nigeria is dependent and not independent. It is dependent on Chinese loans for survival.
It is also dependent on foreign refineries to refine its own crude oil. Nigeria is dependent on foreign arms to fight Boko Haram. The other day Nigeria’s information minister decried the refusal of the west to sell ammunition to them, thus frustrating their war against Boko Haram. Nigeria is dependent on foreign expatriates to repair its ordinary roads. It is dependent on China to build its train rails.
Now we come to the worst form of dependence. And this is where an exegetical reflection of the dependency theory becomes more unsettling. The politicians and their wards depend on western hospitals for medical aid. They also depend on foreign banks to safely cart away their looted funds.
The politicians and a greater percentage of the elite depend on the west for quality education. Nigeria depends on the west to drive an ordinary car. It depends on the west to organize a credible election. This form of dependence is called ‘VISA BAN’ dependence.
In the event of post COVID 19 pandemic, Nigeria depends on the monies its officials forcefully and illegally extort from stranded Nigerians returning back to Nigeria. This is because organized corruption during the pandemic crippled the nation’s economy. Life for the looting political class is not the same again.
The big question is what independence is Nigeria celebrating on October 1, 2020? What do we call an adult at 60 who is still dependent on almsgiving and loans for survival? In the Igbo language we call that adult efulefu or ofeke. It can be comparable to Unoka in Things Fall Apart who kept borrowing that he lost count of the names of those he borrowed from. Nigeria still depends on the west to use a toothpick. In what way does the meaning of independence apply to Nigeria?
An adult who is dependent on the benefaction of others to eat, wear cloth, access medical help, and in fact do everything is not an adult. Nigeria at 60 is a waste of adulthood. Nigeria is a disgrace to what adulthood stands for.
We come back again with more disconcerting interrogations of Nigeria’s independence.
Today is October 1 when Nigeria claims that it got independence. However, that claim is obfuscating. It is just a way of telling the world that it is still dependent since 1960. I have tried to remember one thing Nigeria has achieved as an independent nation since 1960 and I cannot remember any.
Yes, I just remembered one thing. The only independence Nigeria can claim to have achieved is the independence of corruption. Nigeria achieved this type of independence to become the champion of corrupt practices. And that is the only achievement that is not exportable. No nation can be dependent on Nigeria for corruption.
Nigeria is still dependent and not independent. Unhappy October 1.
– By Prof. Okechukwu Nwafor

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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