Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, says since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the country has not gotten anything right.
Falana, while speaking on Channels TV Sunday Politics programme, said that Nigeria is still grappling with underdevelopment due to its failure to remove structures mounted by the British colonialists.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast was thanking the British for uniting us, I was wondering where that was coming from, because the colonial regime engaged in divide-and-rule,” he said.
“Nigeria has refuse to get it right; whereas, in 1960, Nigeria was ahead of many countries in Asia, including, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the rest of them. Today, some of these countries have frog jumped; they have left us as a Third World country and they have metamorphosed into First World.” He said.
“So, for the majority of our people, 1960 provided an opportunity to start all over again but, unfortunately, the nationalist politicians who took over the reins of power from the British colonial regime did not decolonise the country and the psyche of our people. And all of them retained the colonial structures. The laws and ordinances were simply changed to Act of Parliament. The institutions were left intact.” he added.
“Colonialism was in practice for over a hundred years; so, what you would have expected in 1960 was a radical departure from the colonial route that has led to the underdevelopment of our country.
“Unfortunately, when military adventurers in politics stepped in in 1960, the situation became worse. The country that was trying to practise federalism was turned into a unitary one,” Falana added.