Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country celebrates it’s 50 birthday today. Over 25 African heads of state are in the Nigerian capital for the golden jubilee celebrations.
The government of Nigeria has planned a week long celebration to mark the anniversary. Nigeria attained it’s independence from Great Britain on 1 Oct. 1960.
After gaining independence, Nigeria modelled it’s Federal Republic system after the United States, with executive power exercised by the president and with overtones of the Westminster System model in the composition and management of the upper and lower houses of the bicameral legislature. Nnamdi Azikiwe served as the first President of Nigeria from Oct. 1 1963 to Jan. 16 1966
Many critics say after 50 years of independence Nigeria’s infrastructure is in poor shape, and corruption in the Govt. has derailed the nations progress. There is also a debate among Nigerians about whether there is a cause for celebration since ethnic conflicts and religious violence has dominated post Independence Nigeria.
Uche, told VibeGhana.com correspondent that to him he does not think the celebration should be big, he said the government should rather focus on stabilizing the country and improving the economy, “look at the delta region, see the kidnapping, the violence in jos, we don’t need this big celebration now, we need peace first and good economy” Uche said ” I am 35 year old, I have 3 children and I don’t have a job” he added.
Patience Okereke, 18 year old university student said she feels 100 percent Nigerian today, she encouraged all Nigerians to put aside their differences and celebrate the golden jubilee as one nation, “we are one people, when our fathers fought for the independence, they didn’t fight as an Igbo, a yoruba or a hausa, they struggled as Nigerians” she said.