Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has described Nigeria as a country drifting towards a dangerous waterfall.
Amaechi also declared that the celebration of Nigeria’s Centenary was unnecessary as it was held on the backdrop of the killing of students and other innocent Nigerians by members of the Boko Haram sect.
The governor, who spoke Monday while addressing members of the State House of Assembly on the state of the nation, questioned the rationale behind such extravagant celebration when Nigerians were living in perpetual fear of hired assassins and armed robbers.
Amaechi particularly noted that Abuja residents, who were expected to have played the role of chief hosts at the centenary celebration, were at various petrol stations struggling to fill their fuel tanks.
He also lampooned the Federal Government for giving Nigerians a false impression about the country’s economy and added that the citizens could feel the tremor of Nigeria’s wobbling economy.
Amaechi pointed out that Nigerians appeared to have lost the zeal to celebrate anything, even as he queried the legacy that would be bequeathed to the next generation.
He said, “What do our people feel and see when they get out of their houses in the morning? Sadly as leaders, we must admit the truth, which stares us in the face. It is the fact that our country is drifting perceptibly into a dangerous waterfall.
“Even in Abuja, most Nigerians who ordinarily would have been the chief celebrants (chief hosts) went about their daily chores while the others struggled at petrol stations trying to fill their tanks almost completely oblivious of the trappings of what should have been a grand announcement of our coming of age.
“Gradually but noticeably, Nigerians appear to have lost the appetite to celebrate anything. Embedded in our newfound affinity for low key celebration and an infinite state of somber reflection is the true state of the nation.
“Can we really celebrate when our children are being slaughtered while at school? Can we really celebrate when our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters are being slaughtered like chickens?
“Can we really celebrate when our fellow citizens live in constant and growing fear of kidnappers, hired assassins and armed robbers? Can we really celebrate when those constitutionally empowered to protect us turn their fury on us?
“In these questions lies the state of the nation. Where is the country headed? Where will the country be in another hundred years? What legacy are we leaving behind for our children?”
Explaining that economic revolution could not be powered by candle lights or generators, the Nigeria Governors Forum Chairman said the prevailing economic system of the country was breeding inequality.
He also observed that Nigeria was in a near state of coma due to the activities of oil thieves and robbers of crude oil revenue belonging to the nation.
According to him, “While Nigeria bleeds and is in a near a state of coma from crude oil thieves and thieves of crude oil money, this administration tells us fairy tales of a strong economy.
“While we feel the unmistakable tremors of a wobbling economy, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy continues to sing loudly to disguise the stuttering of an economy that is about to break down.
“While millions of our young ones are roaming the streets, this administration feeds us with the tales of burger flipping jobs it has created through its ‘Sure-P’ and ‘You Win’ programmes.
“While students around the world are in school bracing up for the mind twisting challenges of the 21st Century, our polytechnic students are at home wondering whether they will ever go back to school. Their counterparts in our universities just returned to school after spending six months at home”.
“When will this administration understand that no economic revolution has been done on power of candle lights and ‘I pass my neighbor generators?’. When will this administration understand that an economic system that breeds inequality is raking hot coal in its bosom?”
Amaechi, however, decried the Federal Government’s refusal to act over the allegations of corruption in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
“One is at sea over the confusion among key members of this administration about the account of our state of affairs. In what serious country would you see a commanding height institution such as the NNPC trapped in an infinitely revolving door of accusations of corruption?
“Yet those whose responsibility it is to act simply look on as if under a spell or simply couldn’t be bothered”, the governor stated further.