On October 1st, 1960, Nigeria got her independence after so many years of colonial rule. The British flag was lowered and the country’s Green-White-Green flag was hoisted. It was a new dawn for Nigerians.
Nigeria became an independent nation as a result of the sacrifices made by the founding fathers and nationalists at that time.
Those founding fathers and nationalists brought out their strength and stood against their colonial masters. Their agitations were centered only on how they could have the nation of their dreams where the lives of the citizens mattered and their property were secured.
Their fight was for the emancipation of their people from the oppressors and give hope to generations yet unborn. They endured so much in the hope that coming generations would not face the same hardship. It was a fight that fetched them a resounding and worthy victory. It earned them the freedom we now celebrate as our Independence Day.
It is important we mention the names of some of these founding fathers and nationalists who fought so hard Nigeria’s freedom. They are – Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Anthony Enahoro, Remilekun Fani Kayode and Ladoke Akintola. Sadly, they’re all late now.
Before Nigeria became a republic in 1963, Nnamdi Azikiwe at independence, was made the Governor-General of the federation while Tafawa Balewa served as the prime minister.
Nigerians were so elated, in high spirits that they were finally standing on their own. A new nation had just been born and so the task to build a country of peace and comfort for all was on everyone’s mind.
It is known or believed that the country’s leaders then was majorly concerned about the growth of the country and her citizenry. It is said that their concerns were mainly centered in economic growth and educational development as well as socio-political evolvement. They invested in the youths, who they considered their successors in governance by giving them sound education and reasonably engaging them.
The post-independent era witnessed a lot of youths empowerment by way of provision of jobs – lucrative jobs and engagements. After their education, they did not face or have any challenges securing jobs. History even tells us that companies would send their representatives to convocations to scout for potential employees. These wouldn’t have been made possible if the leaders at the time did not engender the development of sane youths. Those leaders had hoped that the legacy they left behind would be strictly followed by their successors. Sadly, it is not, it is now a different story and legacy.
Today, it is regretable that the country’s current leaders, who took power from those nationalists and forefathers of the country have become crooks and professionals at milking the country dry and abusing public trust. Their concern or rather, their interests only lie in how fat their bank accounts are or can be. These actions and legacies are totally different from those of the founding fathers of this great country.
The country’s current youths population wallow in a state of absolute hopelessness as a result of terribly bad leadership/leaders. What the youths of yesterday benefited is now where to be seen today. That treat is no where to be found or even imagined.
It is therefore not wrong or out of place to conclude that growth, for Nigeria as an independent nation after 62 years is not visible. Nigeria’s growth, sadly does not correspond with her age. Nothing is practically working. The country appears to remain at a spot, wallowing in constant pool of disgrace/embarrassment. It is so sad that no government, regime or administration has succeeded in making Nigeria realise its full potential having been so blessed with abundant human and material resources. This is not just a slap on the founding fathers of the country, but it’s also a betrayal of trust.
It is my prayer that like the biblical Moses, a Moses would show forth for the country in the 2023 general elections and take the country to where it ought to be as the acclaimed giant of Africa.