“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed” – the famous Black-American freedom fighter, Martin Luther King (jnr) once said. Oppression, Slavery and colonialism were once characteristic words used to describe an amalgamated ‘Niger-Area’ in the early 20th century. Similar to most other nations in Africa, great men of strength, honor, valor, tenacity, and courage gave up their families, left their comfort zones and took up a complete and unadulterated form of patriotism; fought for a dream, a future and a hope called independence.
That dream these great men fought for gave birth to the reality we all are enjoying today; A Nigeria free from colonialism, slavery, and bondage. A Nigeria free from dictation and coercion. One characterized by hope for the homeless, poor and ordinary citizens. Such freedom should be dearly cherished. The question that arises in our head now is: how can we cherish this gift?
We cannot resurrect our dead founding fathers, we cannot make their children live forever but we can immortalize their legacies, we can consolidate that future they fought for, we can create a better life for the new generation. This we can do by working on improving the Nigerian reputation.
The Nigerian reputation has been lost, the integrity soiled; trust has suffered. Insecurity has soared, social vices skyrocket; cybercrime is now the order of the day. The typical Nigerian family now frowns at true patriotism; discourage living for the nation with the opinion that Nigeria has not done anything for them as a family. A country where youths do not acknowledge the dignity in labor instead upholds cybercrime as a livelihood. The image of our great country has been tarnished and the visions of our founding fathers have been blurred.
It is time for a ‘re-dream’; a time for action; and all hands must be on deck. Young or old, rich or poor, southern or northern, male or female; we must all join our hands together to achieve a future that will be as bright as the sun and as white as snow. We must all involve ourselves in the actualization of the dreams shared by the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo.
The first African-American president of the United states of America, Barrack Obama said that: “ A freedom that only asks what’s in it for me; A freedom without commitment to others; A freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.” Hence, let us all rise and make that ONE DREAM of a truly free Nigeria a reality.
Happy Independence Nigeria @55!
Chucks Wisdom Cee