By Rotimi Ogungbola
This day presents to Nigerians, particularly those at the leadership structure, a time to reflect and reassess the current dispensation in contrast to the vision of the founding fathers of this nation. The independence we enjoy today didn’t come effortlessly; it came through lion approach from comrades who used their voices, pen, and physical strength to liberate this nation after tough exploitation of human resources, humiliation and reckless management of humans among others.
Interestingly, Nigeria is not the only nation colonized in Africa and around the world, but Nigeria seem resilient to growth among its peers. India, South Africa, Kenya among other nations are nations who have given meaning to their freedom by engraving the visions of a greater society in their minds, exercise the courage needed and today, their nations have overcome many of the challenges it had. However, it’s unfortunate that even after over five decades of “independence”, Nigeria is still battling with tough challenges other developing countries overcame at the earliest stage of their independence.
Nigeria has hurtled through various cross roads prior and after independence; the nation has been highly ranked in misconduct and severe corrupt practices, growing insecurity that has taken different dimensions, incessantly rising youth unemployment, poor economy, fall in the standard of education to mention a few. The memories of the struggles made by our founding fathers should propel Nigerians, again, particularly leaders at all levels to uphold the dignity of this nation and ensure their visions for Nigeria speak without limit; because they selflessly suffered for the freedom we enjoy today as a nation.
Every new age gives room for new momentum; gives opportunity to amend the mistakes of years behind and create fresh records that will speak well of our history and give hope to future generations. Even at this point, Nigeria can be renewed; the tendency of a better nation is very possible, how? It begins with you, it begins with me! Making Nigeria a better nation is not the responsibility of an individual; it is our collective social responsibility, every individual, young or old, male or female, employed or unemployed, Christian or Muslim, in government or not has a role to play in this.
At 54, what our nation needs is not one huge reform or policy, economic or political theory, revolution or violence; all Nigeria needs is a “commitment” from all and sundry to the course of a better Nigeria. Nigeria will not be made great by Americans or Chinese, Nigeria will be made great by Nigerians. Let the reawakening spread, be determined to make your effort count in taking Nigeria to a greater height. Yes, it is possible if we are responsible.
Rotimi Ogungbola wrote in from Ilorin, Kwara state