Every time that I want to wish Nigeria a Happy Independence Day, I can’t help but hold back. There’s something missing here and it’s the TRUTH. The Nigerian Independence is still a dream.
We are NOT INDEPENDENT.
At least not yet so what’s there to celebrate?. In about 20 days, we will remember those that were shot down and killed at the Lekki Toll Gate and it’s still a wonder that no one has been held responsible for those actions against humanity. So I ask again? Are we truly independent? Is the Nigerian Independence real?
We can host parties and be merry but really, we like to Jaiye and have fun so that doesn’t come as a surprise but let’s not mistake that for the celebration of Independence because we are still in fact, living in bondage.
The first set of humans to blame will be the Nigerian Government and I agree, they are a truly nerve-wracking bunch. It is inhumane to expect celebration from a country at this time. A time where we are watching our currency fall on its back and constantly mocked. Many of us are still earning fairly the same salary as 2 years ago but the prices of things have almost tripled in that time frame. We have to beg for basic amenities like electricity, water, healthcare, and good roads. Nigerians have pretty much figured out how to live independently from their governments and yet, they make us pay with hardship. Driving more people into depression and poverty every day while enriching themselves and touring the world, sleeping and waking up even fatter.
I really wish it made sense to me. All my life, I have had so much faith in this country. Hoping that one day it will get better. I enjoyed the stories my parents told me with pride in their hearts and hopeful eyes. Yes, my mum will brag when she brings out her old passport from 1983 “The Naira was 873 to $1”. I was always so happy to hear that we were at some point richer than people in the abroad but look at us now – barely hanging. We talked about all the great inventions that will come out and how beautiful we will rule, we were the leaders of tomorrow. I argued with my elders about their disbelief and urged people to hang around just a little longer because we can definitely win this thing. We will be great again! We are the giants of Africa.
Not anymore. This Giant has fallen.
Let’s not be deceived, the Nigerian people are almost as bad as their leaders. Except, we don’t have the power in all our hands just yet. I have watched injustice on the streets and people favour their own for no apparent reason. Every day, we ask each other “Where are you from?” like we want to place ourselves in a box and if given a chance, you’ll take that little overpay in your bank account as a “blessing from God” forgetting that someone had to lose for you to win. We tap our neighbour’s electricity because we are broke. We bribe the policeman at that station 500 so we can skip all the unnecessary steps. When we get a chance, we cut corners and “speed things up” We don’t always fight for injustice until it hits closer to home.
We have made our name all around the world for unpleasant things. That’s the funniest part you know, is that for someone seeking a better life, you will go and replicate everything that was going wrong in your own country. Nigerians are making it harder for more Nigerians to either leave Nigeria or come back home. HOW INTERESTING!
We will find the Nigerian Independence when we have released ourselves from ourselves. We must learn to be better individuals.
I’ll be honest the killings last year made it harder for most young people to keep the hope going. I am currently in that boat. I have given up. Now, I encourage people to find spaces where they are appreciated. Find a place where you have better mental health because our HOME doesn’t feel like one.
So I’ll say, go out and be happy. Enjoy your day and the public holiday that came with it but keep in mind that it’s not to celebrate the country. It’s to celebrate our victory from Nigeria. It’s to celebrate our survival so far.
God bless you and God bless Nigeria.