A cross section of Nigerians on Wednesday expressed mixed feelings over the celebration of the country’s 54th Independence anniversary.
While some believe that it is worth celebrating because the country is still united despite numerous challenges, others maintained that the atmosphere is unripe for celebration because of the high rate of insecurity in some parts of the country.
Adelodun Obaseki, a member of PDP in Kogi state, said there is every reason to celebrate because God has helped Nigeria to surmount different challenges.
Obaseki pointed out that the level of development that the country has experienced in the last few decades is worthy of celebrating.
He argued that the PDP had proved itself to be a party that all Nigerians should embrace, courtesy of its infrastructural development projects in all aspects of national life through the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
However, another resident, Mr Salaudeen Mohammed, spoke of the need for sobriety because of the security challenges threatening the country.
“What are we celebrating when over 200 Chibok girls are still being held captive by insurgents in the North, with killings and kidnappings in the South?,” he asked.
He noted that the nation still suffers epileptic power supply, massive youth unemployment, corruption and persistent strikes.
“Just give me a reason why we should celebrate when at 54, Nigeria still depends on importation of domestic goods, building materials and many other things,” Salaudeen added.
He advised political leaders and governments at all levels to shun corruption and work for the betterment of the nation.
A taxi driver, Mr Samuel Elian, lamented the poor condition of the state and federal roads across the country, saying it was a cause for concern.
He enjoined the various tiers of government to restore people’s confidence in the polity by delivering the benefits of independence.
Mr Ibrahim Tola, a private legal practitioner in Abuja, called for the construction of quality road network across the country and the provision of educational facilities, healthcare service, agricultural inputs and improved electricity supply, among other basic social amenities and infrastructure.
Mrs Eletta Awoniyi, a civil servant, said Nigeria should celebrate the sustained unity of the nation at 54 in spite of the various ills bedevilling the country.
She urged Nigerians to set aside religious, political and tribal differences, and embrace unity and peace which were needed to surmount the security challenges facing the country.