Well, happy Independence Day to all Nigerians! I’m proudly Nigerian and I do sincerely love my country. Today I saw quite a number of people celebrating and in fact today’s church service was one like no other. I almost wished every Sunday would be Independence Day. There was dancing, laughing, jumping and sweets! I had a really good day. I’m happy we’re celebrating this beautiful country and its togetherness. I love how diverse we are; our different languages and cultures, it really makes us colourful.
However, as I watched the whole celebration, I wondered if we were actually celebrating something. I wanted to go around and ask people what was going through their minds as they jubilated. To tell you the truth, I smiled and laughed but even I didn’t know what we were celebrating. And I really think that’s the case for a lot of us. We just like having a reason to celebrate and who doesn’t love a public holiday? I know I do.
Nigeria is celebrating 57 years of independence. 57 whole years! That’s really something, but how far have we really come in all these years? How much have we really grown? There’s still so much corruption, so much poverty, so much work to be done. We’ve come some way but definitely not as far we could have. In the next 57 years, what’s it going to be like? Would we still have electricity issues, bad roads, corrupt officials, illiterate leaders? It’s quite possible and at the rate we’re going it’s quite plausible. Everyday the youths crying, “when will tomorrow come? We want our chance to actually lead!” But the funny thing is that most likely the future leaders could exactly like these present leaders. Selfish.
The biggest problem Nigerians have is selfishness. Everyone is after their own gain, their own benefit. No one’s thinking about the future generation, or the people around them. I asked a few young people what they would do if they did get into power, and all of them admitted that they would take as much as they can, help their family and friends, and that was it. None of them said anything about helping the masses, helping the economy, or helping Nigeria as a whole. I was quite ashamed of my generation and the little hope I had concerning the future of this country almost completely dissipated. We keep complaining about our leaders and forget that we also have a role to play in the growth of this country. How do we handle whatever little power we lay our hands upon? I see so many people become rude and high handed when given a little power, and I wonder what it would be like when they have so much power.
We need to examine ourselves and realize that the change does indeed begin with you. It’s in the little things we can do to better our country. Stop throwing dirt in public, if everyone stopped doing that, Nigeria would be a much neater place. Start thinking of your neighbour when you’re doing anything. Stop playing your music so loud. Start with the little things and then we can move on to much bigger things. We need to not only grow, but also develop. The change begins with YOU.
God bless us and God bless Nigeria.