In the Naija Spirit: Courage, Resilience, Determination, and Survival is what we are known for. The beauty in our diversity and the blessedness of our number is insurmountable.
With a population of 202,223,756 people, 774 Local Governments, 520 Languages, over 300 tribes, and 36 states, Nigeria has become a formation that started in the 1800s. Dating back to 1914 during the days of Amalgamation, up until 1960, when Nigeria gained her Independence from the British Colonial Rule, it has been 59 years of making and breaking, rising and falling and piloting the vehicle of our own decisions.
The 1st of October is a definite reminder of our Freedom Story. The freedom from forcefully imposed obedience and trade of our black brothers. The labor of our heroes past, the construction of our citadel, the uniqueness of our National Anthem and the insight in our Coat of Arms.
Nigeria, my very own fatherland. If only wishes were horses, maybe our bed would have looked like the creativity in our minds. The time we now own to moderate, the finance we now possess to manage and the resources at our disposal, maybe it would have been a different story. Unfortunately, it is one thing to envisage and another to implement.
I can only imagine what our heroes’ past foresaw when they risked their lives for the people’s freedom and the nation’s independence. The story is different today and it seems like we are soon forgetting the power that binds us together. It seems like we are losing the heart we once had. The symbolic emblem that represents the Nation should not be allowed to fade quickly into extinction. The Coat of Arms should be a constant reminder of who we are, what we stand for; and the direction of our noble course. The lyrics of our National Anthem and Pledge are not just mere words formed into harmony. The Nigerian Flag was not just designed to explain colors.
The people’s freedom was the sole aim of Independence itself. To serve our fatherland With love and strength and faith. The story is now the reverse and it feels like hard labor. Have we soon forgotten that no state or nation can survive without the people? Our streets are filled with people in abject poverty and a heart for the people is now on the decline. I thought projects of the state are people-oriented. Sadly, at 59, the table has turned around and the government of the people, for the people and by the people have become tales of self-greatness. The people no longer have a choice but to dance to the tune of the music. Democracy has fallen and the pieces of the empire are crushing the people of the empire. Where are we headed for?
As much as there is a celebration in the air, let us take this time to have a soul-search. Its Nigeria’s call to accept our identity; with whole-heartedness, let us pledge again our allegiance and sign the contract that holds us together as one. To serve with heart and might one nation bond with freedom, peace, and unity. To affirm again our membership as part of a great society that is sold out to succeed against all odds. Let us keep the waving flag high in the air with strong believe in our diversity and glow in the beauty of our identity. Long Live Nigeria!!!
Fehintola Marylorna Oladele is a Nigerian changing the old order of doing things with an aim to creating a BETTER NIGERIA. #NigeriaAt59