Sixty in the age of every nation is one that calls for celebrations, appraisals and reflections. For the fact that Nigeria today celebrates her diamond jubilee is something rather miraculous. This was in itself an unlikely event given the plethora of challenges that have bedeviled the country from the time the union jack was lowered for the last time and replaced by the green white green flag in the ample sparkling sunshine across the length and breadth of Nigeria. I guess only few could have thought we would get this far as one country.
The events of that day of independence came with its attendant anticipation for the most populous black nation in the world. The fact that Nigeria’s independence was delayed in order to prepare some parts of the country into being ready for independence or rather to prepare the country into a fully independent country in words and deeds do not correlate with what we have today.
Sixty years after we still have many challenges of pre independence not met and post independence being added by the day. I Agree that there is no perfect nation in any part of the world. Even the saner climes that Nigerians cherish using as models are not perfect and will never ever be. Some even with more than two centuries of independence under their belts.
To be fair to those countries, they have been concerted efforts by both the leadership and the followership to address challenges bedeviling their countries. I believe this is where Nigeria leaves much to be desired. The solutions to Nigeria’s problems lie in both the leaders and the followers working hand in hand to address common challenges.
No nation has ever advanced by leaving its fate in either the leadership or the followership. It has to be both. Yes, the leaders without an iota of doubt have more in this regard to develop any nation. But when we think leaders have failed, when they do or even they have not failed, the followers must be awakened. This is the surest path to follow.
After sixty years of independence, as I have always asserted: we have to comprehend that the progress and development of Nigeria is inextricably bound up with the leadership and followership contribution towards that.
It is inadequate to merely lament about Nigeria’s woes. Be it leaders or followers. We must support it with sincere and concerted efforts to not only alter the narratives for good but also for the development of the biggest black nation on earth.
If Nigeria is to ever attain lofty height, in the comity of nations, Nigerians must get what ultimately makes a country great right. I know for a fact it is not divisions, name-calling, corruption, nepotism, insecurity etc.
Ethno-religious chauvinism and fault lines of our country should never ever be used as the ticket to win any elections. From councillorship to the presidency. Yes, even as I write, I know they are those who are overly prepared to divide us. We must be certain to match them on and on. But in a different manner. While they work on the negative side, we have no option than to work on the positive side, if this country is to ever reach her potential.
It is mandatory for us to work tremendously hard now. So that if we are fortunate to witness our centenary celebration, as an independent entity, we will have enormous reasons to celebrate not only out of patriotic conviction but also for the progress and positive changes that we will have made. Terrorism, banditry, kidnapping etc, must be defeated. And all forms of criminality must be reduced to the barest minimum.
The vast majority of Nigerians must work in unison with a view to building an effective, prosperous, humane and great country that leads Africa. And competes globally towards the advancement of humanity in all fields of endeavour.
Nigeria can and will be great in our lifetime when we truly want it to be with all frankness and efforts. Keep hope alive. Happy 60th anniversary! God bless you. God bless the Federal republic of Nigeria.
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