Happy independence, we are 60! This is my nation and I must say the truth, we are a big nation and we must start viewing things differently. Though I am writing this with noights on but we must have a reason to celebrate, even if we don’t celebrate becuase the economies is in tatters (apologies to Covid 19 and dwindling Brent crude and those global oil guys ) which has made us to be broke we must celebrate for being together. That is if the Oduduwa folks don’t protest for their new country and the biafra folks decide to come out and drink beer. They must either come out or go in. We want the biafra folks and their IPOB to drink beers outside why stay indoors when we celebrate and we want the Oduduwa guys to stay indoors and not carry placards , why come outside while we celebrate , going us inside to drink beer. So anyhow we must celebrate

Now back to the issue of celebration, what are we celebrating? Independence! Independence from what again? Are we free from colonialism? Don’t we still have neocolonialism here with our people going to churches to give Thanksgiving for getting visas to UK, USA etc… What does this show? It shows that folks are leaving in droves and this isn’t a good sign, brain drain is real !

Let’s bring it home, are we yrully independent? With citizens looking down on indigenous products and solution calling it local made? How is that mentality independent minded and the most annoying is calling them igbo made.

A nation that the economy is somehow dictated by the guys in Brentwood, IMF and lately China, you know there are critical things we can’t do without their concept just like the french held the francophones in their scrotum , ours (scrotum) isn’t made of titanium (apologies to death race ) they still held us ! We still go to their hospital to be treated, go their schools to be educated and try as much as possible to either dress like them and eat like them! Please how are we independent? We must start looking inward and we have to create that capacity.

We try to outdo others, we try as much to be more Christian than the pope or Westminster anglican church head… We take pentecostalism to a new hieght that the Americans who invented it shudder. We hate and discriminate ourselves beecuase of faith the dichotomy in Shitte amd Sunni is a clear case and we forget in one way or the other that these are foriegn religions and we shouldn’t let them out a wedge ! Yet we must celebrate.

Celebration is amazing, a nation where a couple of folks get to the national TV have sex and rewarded with millions in cash and endorsement while the little boy that made great strides in maths and physics are left with let’s say 20,000 as a gift and we say we must celebrate.

At 60, most men would have issues with erection and they might not sustain it more than 2 rounds and as a woman, monopause is there though with modern technology they can imagine if Nigeria is a nation!

Coming to TV, we have DStv, a south african company running the affairs and we have Startimes a Chinese firm with tiny stake of Nigeria.. and we must celebrate while these foriegn firm run amok.

Bring it home, as we are deploying cloud solutions and computing, alot of Nigerian firms are hosting abroad and they don’t care what it means to have data sovereignty and the issue of latency isn’t their forte… They just believe that once you host on Ukraine, California or Brisbane you are good but they forget that we can host in Nigeria, they don’t like .Ng and .com. Ng domain names they feel it’s not cool it would be .com yet we must celebrate .

Telecoms are out of it, MTN and Airtel have taken the larger chunk of our market and we are taking of over 80% and guess what? We must celebrate as a nation while our critical data is in hands of the foriegn ones.

Don’t get this twisted! I am not anti globalist I am not but I tilt towards protectionism! Protectionism is when the state governors give contracts to local engineers though striking university lecturers have made them watery. I am particular about leaving Toyota as a brand for Innoson or Nord , it is worrisome when some people in estate legislative reject these brands.

Do we celebrate oh yes, we must but we must revist bileteral agreement and get ourselves out of many association… What are we doing as a member of Commonwealth, what are we doing in OIC, what are we doing in these places ? Not all nations abide by these and membership is binding and this limits us.

What about the tribal independence? With the Oduduwa folks firing from all cylinders and the Biafra folks loosing their chills, the need to engage and tete a tete with these groups becomes imminent and chitchat becomes imperative. They might not be given 100% independence but they can be looked into a confederacy setting where the states are collapsed into regions and the regions take care of their internal affairs from policing to economic policies… These would be a form of scaling . This model is being employed in UAE, USA, Uk ans even Germany. A whole lot of regional autonomy to the extent they have 90% autonomy while the union have 10 which is defence , internal (passport, money ) and external relations . It is doable and the template is there for us all to borrow. If some want to be a full islamic region, it is their perogative .

Recurrent and exclusive list, that shouldn’t be forgotten. States should be allowed to generate their energy and sell excess to others. Why must a state like Anambra take permission to build a rail that is linking Onitsha to Awka and Nnewi? Why must Abia find it hard to dregde the Azumini blue river that is few nautical miles to Atlantic? Why must Uyo that is heavily oil not invest in electricity generation and sell to Benue ? These are few impediments to full independence.

Yet, we have done a lot in keeping the country together and that must be celebrated but is togetherness the only basis of celebration rather we must start ezcahning notes and looking at how this togetherness can change the prosperity narrative.

Happy birthday to Naija,I refuse to be forlon or give up. There is hope and it is salvable only if we want to salvage ! The market is huge ,it is worth over 300 million people buying and the need to keep this market is imperative and the need to revisit this market setup is more important. Nigeria is the market!

Tony Nwosu

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