What, to a Nigerian, is the 1st of October?
I answer; a day that reveals to her, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which she is the constant victim. To her, the celebration is a sham; the boasted liberty, an unholy licence; the famed title giant of Africa, mere swelling vanity; the sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; its denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; the shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; the independence service, prayers and hymns, the sermons and thanksgivings, with all the religious parade, and solemnity, are, to her, mere bombast, Fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.
There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than in this very nation, at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through the Apartheid of South Africa, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, Nigeria reigns without a rival.
Our distress comes from no failure of substance, neither are we stricken by a plague of locusts. In fact, plenty is at our doorstep, but the right use of it languishes in the very sight of supply. Yet we occupy ourselves with divisive and hateful narratives sold by selfish politicians who profiteer therefrom, while the evils of poverty, disease and insecurity have become our eternal compatriots, which do not discriminate against tribe nor religion.
At the time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke.
For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crime against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
Oh that we will arise and collectively tackle the challenges that bedevil this nation and liberate our country from mental laziness and the incestuous relationship we have formed between mineral resource and corruption.
Happy Independence Nigeria, the comatose giant!
1. President Franklin Roosevelt 1933 Inaugural Speech
2. Niran Adedokun, “How Nigeria bred Hausa, Igbo, & Yoruba Miscreants” August 2019
3. The Frederick Douglass Papers. Monday July 5, 1852
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