I cannot but agree with the infusing words of Eddie Rickenbacker that;
“The four cornerstones on which the structure of a nation is built are initiative, imagination, individuality and independence.”
True to type the last word, unveiled so much in time that transported me to an evolutionary stage as a little girl who felt the momentum of the annual independence day celebration even at the grass root level of the intriguing and dramatic emissions, the eye catching parade of the green and white jamboree in the Christ Embassy Church.
It is quite unfortunate that the surge for national consciousness of an independence day celebration that ordinarily ought to be aroused in an average Nigerian citizen, is grossly in absence. As a young girl I was then, I had to attribute this feeling of gaiety of independence day celebrations to a religious sector affair year in year out, as the national scene had no dominating or prevalent intrigue.
As a child, I also wondered why the government could not offer us rice or goodies like I heard is the norm in Ghana to celebrate her independence. As I metamorphosed into little adulthood, I came to terms with the fact that independence is just an abstraction and it is beyond an annual celebration, the real independence being in our life pattern that opens a can of worms beholding.
The nuggets of our independence is a myriad trail of ridicule, a targeted arrow of it’s true definition rots in the gallows of compromise.
Fifty six (56) years ago in a state of euphoria, on a widely acclaimed and revered day, dated “October 1st”, humans like you and I celebrated a new era. There was a resounding aura in the air beckoning a new dispensation, little did we know we were basking in myopia, failed to realize the spontaneous need for preparation and collaboration rather than celebration. The day the British left the golden bird free it’s rule, was the day the bird got stocked, yet to discover her real identity.
Fifty six (56) years down trailing and the country still developing. We are independent and yet abound by so many handcuffs of never relinquishing poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, limited technology and to compound it all factionalism which many a Nigerian have developed boisterous appetite for.
On this Independence day, history unveils the matrix question that keeps blinking on the eyes of many a citizen whether we sustain our independence after its attainment, that makes it seem we have lost the sole construct initiative or aim of and for independence.
We lost the independence construct when democracy is still being raped by the insatiable appetite of politicians who feed on the goodwill and treasures of our country, harnessing their gruesome tactics and doctoral degrees in massive official looting to the bewilderment of an average citizen.
We lost our independence construct when we still rant about our astute sovereignty as ensconced in Section 14(2)(a) of the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), while an unrivalled sovereign state like Switzerland sarcastically throws to our face a disguised and false embellishments of our sovereignty by maintaining an imposition, a clause that the World bank be a watch dog over us in our management of the recovered loots of Abacha.
We lost the independence construct indeed when an hyper active youth ready to take charge of his life and carve a niche for himself in the society, has no longer confidence in the country which has nothing to offer him as he/she perceives it to be, and cannot bring to bear his own offer or ambitions casting him to an illusioned world of shattered dreams.
We lost the independence construct when the tenure of business security and longevity crumbled under the beastly affront of financialmismanagement, economic recession and a weak industrial and manufacturing sector deflated by heavy importation which has made the investment sector of shares and bonds have an outlook of a ludicrous combination of meaningless figures.
We lost the independence construct of a sense of nationality which a nation ought to be characterized of, by the destruction caused by the sword of diversification induced by the uprising of factionalism by the blood thirsty colony of Boko Harm, Niger Delta Avengers, IPOB all with sole grievance against the government. Sinister plans, a passion and ideologies waft in acrimony with an inclination to hijack the instrumentalities of power.
We lost our independence construct when a citizen has more confidence in the currency of another country than our home country, when youths seek salvation in the shores of foreign soil, the outrageous exchange rate of 465 Naira to one Dollar destabilizing major sectors of the country into freezing comatose.
We lost the independence construct when jobs and social security is still not made readily available. The anomaly of hawkers and street urchins roaming the streets in tattered clothes while law makers fight for wardrobe allowances or even the bemoanable state of the unreliableness of police officers or fire fighter operators that leave artificial and natural creations to wreck havoc on our life before coming to the rescue.
We lost the independence construct when university applicants are still forced by man induced doing to sit at home due only to insufficient tertiary institutions, to admit the population of applicants. Is it the poverty initiated into the country verily the steps of inhuman act of offsetting the hard earned salaries of workers or even those yet to be paid, coupled with a strong nation hyped as the largest in Africa?
Need delve into the unending pit falls this country is clouded with in terms of an unreliable health sector or unemployed graduates. It may not really be necessary.
Nigeria, oh my Nigeria! Behold thy hard earned independence. Do we still have that independence construct?
They lost (politicians) the independence construct when they failed to appreciate and practicalize the four cornerstones which the walls of Nigeria ought to be built on. The obvious absence of initiatives, imagination and individuality as offered by Eddie, even as a nation puts to question our independence.
We finally ask ourselves if all these will ever end or if we will ever find our independence construct. I probably may not know the answer or mine may be different from yours. But, I am rest assuredly aware that a major difference will and can be made when Nigeria shall be an egalitarian nation where every tribe and religious sector will be proud of it’s origination and try to understand each other.
The consciousness of such difference need not be made or initiated at the instance of Independence Day, rather one exercised on a daily basis.
The quota system and it’s twin evil; the federal character is banished to some length, where the extraneous peculiarity attached to religion is relegated to the background thence shall we regain hold of our independence construct when these begins to unfold in our dispensation.
That will be the true change mantra when a dispensation can witness both the turbulent times and it’s achievement for that is how we live up to our core dictum of making a difference with one word or action at a time.