Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday observed that after 54 years of independence, ordinary Nigerians are still lamenting what independence meant to their lives because of the widening gap between the leaders and the led.
In a statement issued in Abuja by his media office, Atiku noted that many Nigerians were concerned about how democratic governance has changed the quality of their lives for the better.
He regretted that the rate at which poverty is ravaging Nigeria is inconsistent with the vast resources available to the country.
According to him, the country’s wealth does not automatically lead to better life if good governance is lacking, lamenting that the rate at which unemployment is accelerating among Nigeria’s youth creates youth restiveness, which itself leads to other social crises, such as armed robbery and other violent crimes.
At 54, he said, Nigeria should have counted among countries that have lifted its citizens out of poverty.
The former vice president also noted that a situation where the leaders are getting richer at the expense of the people while the ordinary citizens are becoming poorer is a bad omen for the country.
He recalled that even before the current grim security challenges, poverty, disease, hunger and unemployment were dominant features of the country’s challenges of development.
As the sixth largest oil producer in the world, Atiku insisted that Nigeria has no excuse for failing to lift its people out of poverty.
He said the consequences of misgovernance and poor leadership have no ethnic and religious borders.