Nigeria at 58: what really is there to celebrate?

These indeed are sobering times for any Nigerian who ever had any dream of  this country becoming better. Nothing seems to be going well. We are officially the poverty hesdwheadqua of the world, our polity is daily marred with news of electioneering and bloodshed, the people at the hem of affairs do not seem to know the way forward or simply do not care as long as their purses get larger. What happened to the Nigeria dream?

Nigeria at 58

This has made many to question the rationale behind our independence or the celebration of it. Genuine independence embodies actionable steps aimed towards federalism. It entails a recognition of the deep diversity that makes up Nigeria. Despite our long years of independence, it appears the state of affairs do not seem to be getting better. In fact, all indications point towards opposite outcomes. The further in years we move away from colonial era, the worse the economy and all other induces of development seem to get. It then looks like Nigeria is better off at the hands of foreigners than Nigerians.

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Many Nigerians therefore took to various media to express their deference or indifference to the 58th birthday of Nigeria as a free state. Of those people is the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Samson Ayokunle, who said Nigerians cannot claim to celebrate independence when Leah Sharibu and over 100 Chibok schoolgirls were held in captivity by insurgents due to their religious inclination. The chairman of KOWA party, also has this to say, “At 58, we have nothing to celebrate at all. To me, I will  suggest that we should go to Britain and ask them to return and continue to rule us from where they stopped on October 1, 1960.


This then makes one wonder if this is what the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo envisaged when they fought to wring this country out of colonial rule, that their descendants will be praying and hoping and wishing that we can return the country to foreign rulers?

I personally think we seem to have missed the whole essence of independence and freedom. Independence means being free from outside control; not depending on anothers’ authority. Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence. It does not necessarily translate to development and growth, even if that should be the end goal. Independence is an achievement and something to be celebrated and that is what we have done yesterday. Though we have many ills beguiling us as a nation right now, yesterday is a reminder of our victory and not our failures. Even in the face of hard times, we celebrate Nigeria’s independence because we still believe in the future of Nigeria.


The Author

Olusola Bodunrin

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