Nigeria turns 50. What is there to celebrate?

Map of Nigeria

Image via Wikipedia

On Friday 1 October 2010, Nigeria celebrated 50 years of independence.

So what is there to celebrate?

Some people think not much, including Wole Soyinka (Nigeria’s nobel laureate), who has recently launched a new political party – called the Democratic Front for a Peoples Federation (DFPF) – aimed at “fighting corruption and giving hope to young voters”.

Democracy is meant to nurture development. And yet Nigeria is a classic case of misuse of resources and poor governance. Despite its vast resources (6th largest producer of oil in the world), 70% of the population still lives below the poverty line.

Most vocal critics blame corruption. And the result thereof – political and socio-economic chaos – “the people have been battered, deceived and betrayed for so long by their leaders and by circumstances that they have lost faith in the idea of being Nigerians”.

So what is the hope for the future of Nigeria?

Will it be the “resilience of the people, their infinite optimism; their capacity to endure”?
Is it time for a new kind of politics?
Will it be citizens capacity to be co-creators of democracy that really works for the people?

What do you think?

interesting – a group of Nigerians have a facebook presence entitled “Good Leadership in Nigeria“, stating they’re “against the election of bad leadership come 2011 (and beyond)” and have over 5,000 supporters.