Today, October 1st 2012, Nigeria celebrates its 52nd Independence Anniversary. Quoting the words of the first Independence Day speech by Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s Prime Minister in 1960, “This is a wonderful day, and it is all the more wonderful because we have awaited it with increasing impatience, compelled to watch one country after another overtaking us on the road when we had so nearly reached our goal. But now we have acquired our rightful status, and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well-built upon firm foundations.”
52 years on, Nigeria has been through its ups and downs. As many people would say, we are not yet where we are supposed to be but we are relentless, and we are still forging ahead.
Yesterday, at an interdenominational church service to mark the 52nd independence anniversary of the nation at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan stated that he could not solve Nigeria’s problems alone and only the collective efforts of all would take the country forward.
Punch quoted the President saying, “Leadership at all levels of government is a collective thing. One person cannot change a nation. The President, governors, lawmakers, members of the judiciary alone cannot do it.
“The leader matters but he cannot change things alone. All Nigerians, men and women, will change things in the country.
“If God can use Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, in all arms of governments, I believe we have many Nehemiahs. There are many of them among teachers, artisans, and clergy.
“God will use these various Nehemiahs to rebuild this country. I can say again that Nigeria will succeed; with our cooperation we shall succeed!”
As we reflect today, let us take a cue from the President’s words and contribute our own little quota to the growth of our Nation. Everyone of us has a role to play, and together, we can make a positive change in our nation.
Happy Independence Day, Nigeria!
What are your thoughts and hopes for Nigeria at 52?
Photo Credit: Nuru Jay Agbaje