Nigeria @ 57: Wike explains why Nigeria is slow, not making progress


RIVERS State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that Nigeria’s situation had been worsened by the failure to successfully redefine and restructure the country towards a progressive path since independence.

Wike, who made this remark during his Independence Day address at the Sharks Stadium in Port Harcourt on Sunday, stated that Nigerians must unite behind the national flag and set aside the narrative of division, violence and hate.

The governor expressed the need to replace the narrative of division and hate with that of peace and unity.

He said, “After nearly 18 unbroken years of democracy and despite positive assertions to the contrary, our democracy keeps floundering under the watch of the Federal Government just as the vast majority of Nigerians are alienated from the state and estranged from the development process and denied the dividends of democracy.

“If economic progress is the test of our democracy, then we have woefully failed as a nation. For 57 years, we abandoned all other economic options and depended on a single economic product derived from the natural bowels of the Niger Delta.”

Wike explained that the reality on the ground was that the country was deeply divided, constantly flirting with crisis from the hegemonic tendencies of the powers that be.

He noted that such powers had failed and were unwilling to acknowledge the depth of injustice against other sections of the country, especially the minority resource-bearing communities.

The governor said, “We all crave for strong national institutions to support our democracy, protect our freedoms and advance our development.

“Unfortunately, instead of advancing our democracy and protecting our liberties, some of our most important national institutions, especially the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Nigeria Police have become the undertakers of their destruction by acts of deliberate compromise, partisanship and even sabotage in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.

“How else can we attribute INEC’s misfeasance and criminal complicity in the emerging, but strange jurisprudential contraption in election disputes, where fake results produced and procured from the custody of terribly partisan police agency were validated and accepted as evidentially superior to its own results by the electoral tribunals to overturn the returns it genuinely and rightly made in respect of the outcome of the 2016 legislative re-run elections in Rivers State?”Punch


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