Today, the 1st day of October in the year 2015, Nigerians are celebrating a real independence. Although it gained her independence 55 years ago, that independence was from her white masters often referred to as the colonial masters.
Many thought what we needed to be free from is the white rule. They thought we were mature enough to run things ourselves and we didn’t need external forces to fix things for us. Eventually, the clamour for independence from colonial rule prevailed and we got what we thought we wanted – to be led or ruled by our own people.
Since then, we have gotten into one form of trouble or the other. The worst of all, especially in recent times, is the bondage that we have brought on ourselves. We appoint leaders to steal our money. We elect leaders to lie to us. We nominate leaders to go and represent the interest of their pockets while people are dying daily on the streets.
The gross impunity continued without caution and it seemed we were totally doomed when our leaders stand tall in front of the entire world to say ‘stealing is not corruption.’ Darkness was a custom and excuses became normal for failure. No one could be held accountabe. They could only be praised.
Finally, a different wind blew across the country. With this wind came a new breed of leaders who saw the interest of the people before theirs.
What has made this independence our real independence? It is the fact that we are now free from our own people, not the white this time, who kept us bound for so long. We are now free from those who made our ‘light affliction’ look like a mystery. We have become free from the leaders who shame us in the eye of the international community and they still use their ignorant arrogance to defend their public display of foolishness.
There is no independence greater than the one you receive from those whom you entrusted your freedom to but turn around to enslave you. A few months back, Nigerians finally got the nerves to take their freedom from those who mismanaged it and we are today better off in a few ways for a start.
I think this is our real independence. The one we can be happy about because it is the one that gives us the leaders we wanted and they are also leading in the manner we had anticipated.
Before now, independence was just another holiday. Now it seems to have taken a different turn. The apathy towards independence day celebrations seems to have dropped drastically all because of one hope rekindled.
It is indeed our real independence and like many other Nigerians, we hope this new wind will not stop blowing. We look forward to many more of it and also pray that this nation will rise to the greatness that many of us desire.
Happy Independence, Nigeria!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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