On October 1, 2022, the Nigerian nation will attain its 62nd independence from its colonial masters.
Independence anniversary celebrations are an indication that the concerned nations are celebrating their liberation from the vestiges of colonialism and freedom from their slave masters.
In days past, Independence Day celebrations were marked with pomp and circumstance across the country as public holidays were declared by the federal government.
Schoolchildren went on a march-past to salute the nation’s flag while fanfare was a common sight in many centres of public entertainment like parks and stadiums. Schoolchildren waved the national flag while marching along, while cultural dances from diverse ethnic groups were showcased.
A cursory look at those happy old days in comparison with the situation today leaves much to be desired.
Schoolchildren of today are deprived of such memorable occasions which provide a vital link for them to know the origin of their nation.
It is even worse when history is no longer taught in most of the schools.
Elaborate celebrations of such milestones inculcate a sense of duty, pragmatism and patriotism in the citizens and more specially on the growing up ones and the youth.
It is unfortunate that insecurity and fear of the unknown have taken a toll on a national celebration that would have shaped the minds of the citizens especially the young ones.
Attaining nationhood does not only lie in winning elections. There has to be the need to demonstrate patriotism and teach what it takes to be patriotic.
On Independence Day, Nigerian heroes and heroines should be remembered so that, as we sing in the Nigerian anthem, “their labour should not be in vain”.
The states and the federal government should do the needful to restore history classes in schools. It is the unnecessary ban or removal of the history subject in school curriculums that has kept a lot of the citizens especially the young ones ignorant about their nation, Nigeria.
At 62, Nigeria is still not unified as one nation with people of the same aspirations. We are still wallowing in an economic wilderness and political confusion. There is no cohesion among the political class to get the nation out of its political and economic quagmire.
For 62 years of independence, we lack stable power, pipe-borne water, good roads, a good university system, and above all, there is an absence of the fear of God.
Why would Nigeria at 62 be classified as the “world poverty capital” at a time when many other lesser nations are counting their gains?
As we look forward to Nigeria’s 62nd anniversary, Nigerians in all walks of life must change their attitudes and ways of doing things. Everything seems lopsided as we derive pleasure in doing the wrong things.
As we look forward to our 62nd independence anniversary, Nigerians should learn to be governable.
And finally, Nigerians should try to continue to hold on to our unity in diversity.