Nigeria At 59: “All is not well” – Atiku

Nigeria’s former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the 2019 General Elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said that all is not well in Nigeria.

He made this known in a special independence day address to the country through his official Twitter handle @atiku, Monday morning.

He said: “On October 1, 1960, our nation’s founding fathers could never have fathomed that 59 years after birthing the largest black nation on earth, we would be facing a situation where we do not have a free press.

“Our judiciary is under attack, and our youths and activists, who should ordinarily be the future of Nigeria, would be facing the very real threat of arrest and intimidation should they speak out about the state of the nation.

“My dear citizens of Nigeria, I could go with the flow and the cliche and say all is well with Nigeria, but as the late Chinua Achebe once wrote, “when an adult is in the house, the she-goat is not left to suffer the pain of parturition on its tether”.

The former Vice President said the time had passed for just prayers and rhetoric saying, “now is the time for all lovers of Nigeria to take concrete steps to aid Nigeria’s progress, by not just praying and showing understanding, but also to take democratic action to ensure that the ideals of our founding fathers – Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress – are not set aside on the altar of tyranny.

“All is not well when judges are persecuted for enforcing the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens.

“All is not well when Nigeria is now officially the world headquarters for extreme poverty and out of school children, yet the cost of maintaining those in government continues to grow, while the needs of the governed are not being met.

“And certainly, all is not well when the media cannot freely express itself without the fear that those who wield the big stick would use it on them for saying things as they are.

“So, rather than just call for prayers today, I am calling on all Nigerians to believe in Nigeria’s betterment, to work for Nigeria’s betterment, and to insist that no one in Nigeria, no matter how highly placed, shall be bigger than the laws of our land.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar also reserved special praises for some individuals who according to him, have distinguished themselves in their service to the country. He commended Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State for “leading the way by massively investing in education” and Chief Allen Onyeama, the CEO of Air Peace for “his public spiritedness which saw him offer relief to Nigerian citizens who were victims of the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.”

Atiku said that their actions showed how much Nigeria can achieve if every Nigerian puts Nigeria first.

He concluded by wishing all Nigerians a happy Independence Day.

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