So, the festivities of the independence holiday have died down. The long holidays with its partying, Cookouts, spending quality time with family and not forgetting the unfortunate mix of the Labour Strike, have given way to a new work week.
Drawing on the reactions of many people, I can tell that quite a number feel there is very little to be happy about in this 58th year celebration of Nigeria’s independence. In fact, the pessimism of social media pundits who have become chief campaigners of this naysaying has permeated into the minds of their followers and you can see from the long line of retweets and comments that indeed they are not alone in their opinion.
They may be right in their own thinking that 58 years later, the country seems to have been in more upheavals than necessary and at best has been in a state of stagnation and for that they have nothing to be jubilant for. As easy as it is to be pessimistic, I choose not to jump onto that bandwagon.
I believe that our founding fathers had bigger dreams about Nigeria compared to what we have today. Healthy competition amongst the old regions created a surge in literacy, a stronger civil service, a vibrant economy, and a more unified Nigeria regardless of ethnic differences.
Things may be bad right now, but they aren’t going to remain so forever. Not if I have anything to do about it, and not if everyone also chips in to give our children a nation worthy of respect.
The typical Nigerian is filled with hope for a better nation. But again, the typical Nigerian prays for this utopia while hoping that someone else solves the problem for them. We have done this repeatedly and it is certainly not working so we need to change things up a bit.
John F. Kennedy in his famed inaugural speech said, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you will do for your country’. Well, I put it to you, what are you, Jemimah, Usman, Jamil, Chukwuemeka, Adebayo, James, Akpan, Dooshima, willing to do for Nigeria?
‘A worthy cause’ it has been said by one of Nigeria’s visionary leaders, ‘chooses you. You do not always get to choose how a cause worth dying for comes about, because it finds you and then demands the sacrifice of you’.
Chinua Achebe said in 1967 "Being a Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting", and I almost feel the same way every other day. One moment I want to yank my hair out from the roots, and then the very next, I throw myself with reckless abandon at its mirth, joie de vivre and endlessly can-do attitude to everything.
I do not claim to have it figured out yet, but I am willing to advocate and to hope that a worthy cause, one that would demand everything for the benefit of the larger majority finds me, and that I am willing to avail myself when it does.
Now I ask you, what are you (myself included) willing to give up for Nigeria’s development?
Happy Independence to Nigeria, the most resilient people to ever walk this earth! We deserve a thousand accolades.
About Jemimah-Nikky Jates
Jemimah-Nikky Jates is a Public Relations Consultant- specializing in Strategic Communications planning and management. She is interested in Development Communications and is an aspiring broadcaster and presenter of a radio programme Abuja Social Mixx. She writes short stories and feature articles and runs a Human interest Blog.
Blog site : http:// jemimah-nikky.blogspot.com
Contact her via email: email@example.com
Twitter/Instagram: @nikkyjates @abujasociamixx