Nigeria @ 58: “We must arise from the ashes of self-inflicted evisceration” – Ikeazor Akaraiwe

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This October 1 as in most Independence Day anniversaries, the prognosis for Nigeria is more depressing. Governments, irrespective of political party in control, have largely failed. Their yearly swan-songs of success are neither shared by the citizenry nor verified by facts. Nigeria has become the proverbial beautiful maiden wooed, used and dumped by bloody men in bloody cults.

If Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka’s generation, my parents generation, was the Wasted Generation as described by him thirty years ago when he turned 50, I posit that the generation following after, my own generation, born around independence, are the Wasteful Generation. Wasteful, because we were born into plenty, but have been spectacularly unable to chart a path different from the ‘Wasted Generation’.

The desolation and despair everywhere announce one verdict. The killings in the middle belt and the far north announce one verdict. The failure of governance, breakdown in security and unrestrained corruption North, South, East and West proclaim but one verdict. Failure. Failure. Failure.

The Wasted Generation has had its day, and my own generation, the Wasteful Generation, are currently having our say under the not very firm and tottering leadership of the Wasted Generation who in the main maintain their stranglehold domination of the strings of power in Nigeria.

But a new generation must arise. A generation I shall call ‘The Mother Generation’. To mother, suckle and care for Nigeria. This must be the goal of all right thinking citizens.

Like the Phoenix, Nigeria must arise from the ashes of self-inflicted evisceration. We must awaken from the dreadful slumber of region and religion to take our country back.

In this regard, I call on my learned colleagues to rededicate ourselves to midwifing a better nation, a new, improved justice delivery system. If your neck of the woods is healthy, Nigeria will be healthy. To pick a trite example, if we lawyers were all to practice law diligently and ethically, Nigeria would be better by our individual and collective decision.

Wishing you all sober and reflective Independence Day ruminations.

Ikeazor Akaraiwe

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