Journalism in the service of society

Nigeria at 60: Arise O Compatriot youths

..Nigeria’s call obey

To serve our father’s land

With love and strength and faith

The Labours of our Heroes past

Shall never be in vain

To serve with heart and might

One nation bound in freedom,

Peace and unity.

What an Irony of Reality.

NIGERIA is 60 years today, so what?

Should we dance, clap or scream because we are here to witness it or because we didn’t die of hunger, insurgent attack or the depression that comes with unemployment.

Nigeria is 60, so what?

Should we raise the Nigerian flag and repeat the National Anthem and its Pledge?

Should we say we are proud of our Nation or should we hide the national shackles and pretend that all is well?

If that’s the case then,

“Yey hurray, we are sixtyyy!

Raise the flag, blow the trumpet, beat the drums and tambourine, spray the money, pop Champaigne, break bottles, enjoy and be merry, we are proud of our country… Hip, Hip, Hip, Hurray!”

The truth is that we can’t pretend that we are happy especially we the youths of this country. As a matter of fact, we are dissapointed that @60 the country is at its  worst.

A civil servant, having achieved a lot is set to retire at 60, but Nigeria at sixty years is still sailing on the boat of 1900.

Now, I really want to make something clear: Nigeria as a place is a blessing to those within it because it’s filled with unique resources, fertile land, oil and livestocks, but as a nation-state, it’s still at its grass level filled with echoes of grief.

Imagine what happens to a farmer when after all his hard work in the farm, wild rats and insects eat up his crops. How do you think he would feel?

That’s how Nigeria is.

NIGERIA is a land that’s ruled by self-centered homo-sapiens, people who are never tired of being on a high position for years.

As a little child, I learnt that children are the leaders of tomorrow but ironically, walking sticks are actually the leaders. They are the ladder for their children’s success only.

An average citizen cannot drink water without knowing the owner of the water company: You are not visible if you don’t know the ‘Oga at the top’. These ogas are the sailors who sail the ship in any direction they wish to. That’s why we keep sailing backward… in fact, I think there’s no more fuel to sail, thus the ship is stagnant.

Those who struggled for the betterment of this country are long gone, now we have those who want to eat up the little good in the country.

Do you want to know what the youths think on the notion of  the “Nigerian nation and its  independence”?

Then read up the few comments below.

Favour from Ogun State, “Some say independence came too early but what better time could it have come if not in 1960, The British enslavement did a good job on the mentality of forefathers and it entrapped a lot of them hence some of the issues facing us.

It’s just like the second stanza of the national anthem which we sing in hope for a better future, but I do believe Nigeria would get real better very soon.

Emmanuel from Lagos State,

 “Nigeria and its Independence,

In a time like this a lot of young people have given up on Nigeria, the Independence was meant to be a beacon of hope, but today there is a lot obscurity in understanding her purpose for the young. Independence should have been the opportunity to create a promising future for all, but in the words of Charlie Chaplin; “Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed”.

Independence to me, is a gift to become the best and to live a life of purpose and fulfillment.

Albert Camus said: ‘Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.’

“This is a time for us as a people to reflect on the past and to forge for our self a better future for all.”

Lotana from Lagos State, “Anything about Nigeria makes people disinterested in it, both the nation and its Independence mean nothing.”

Richard from the East, “Every 1st October is a moment for sober reflection for me, I look at where we ought to be by now and judge it with how far behind we still are; as a concerned citizen, I end up depressed.

“I grew up with the hope that things would get better one day, my parents chanted it like a chorus, now I’m grown, it only got worse.

“My greatest fear is telling my kids the same stories my parents told me about Nigeria.”

Chidiogor from the west, “Nigeria’s independence, for me, should I say I have given up on this country? Because we keep talking about change but it keeps getting worse! Me as a Nigerian youth, I don’t really care about this country anymore or if it moves forward; I pray it moves forward because it will be good for me and others.

“I have tried to analyse things in this country and I have found out that as long as we still have the same set of people ruling us, I don’t think we can ever move forward. So whether Nigeria increases in age or not makes no difference. The only way out is for one to become the government of oneself  because if we rely on Nigerian government we will just suffer. Everybody is trying to help themselves, this country is not like America where the government cares about the people, so whether Nigeria clocks 63 or 92, it’s not my concern anymore.”

WHAT more is there to say?

The youths have said it all.

People say we can only hope for a better country but to me there’s no hope left,  we just have to live our lives struggling to help ourselves. Nigeria does not need HOPE, it needs MIRACLE.

Happy 60th Independence Anniversary Nigeria!

Chinelo, 22, is an English language undergraduate, and vice president of ‘Conglo Writers and Actors (formerly Transcultural Writers Network) of University of Lagos. She writes prose, poetry, articles, reports and blogs at @Krietivenation.

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