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Nigeria @ 55: The Nigeria I see by Enenche Enenche

Written By Idoma Television on Thursday, October 1, 2015 | 7:04:00 AM

To my great and good people of Nigeria, I say congratulations on our Independence Anniversary.
It was on a Saturday, October 1st 1960 when a generation of Nigerians stormed Independence square, to pull down a Union Jack and hoisted our green white banner.
The freedom didn't come cheaply, it cost the blood of many Nigerians, who stood on the path of colonialism... we are forever grateful to them.
A generation left Independence Square in high hope of a brighter future, and Today, that birth of a promising dream is 55 years.

Today, after 55 Years,
660 Months,
2,869 Weeks,
20,088 Days,
482,111 Hours,
28, 926,720 Minutes and 1,735,603,200 Seconds, our banner is still standing, though not without enormous progress and challenges.

Our journey started on a promissory note, shortly after Independence, we stormed Congo when Patrice Lumumba came calling.
When responsibility of freedom hit our newly acquired freedom, we fell. We pulled down Union Jack, but never pulled tribalism and religious sentiments.
Our hope as a people began to shake when we woke up to a bloody day in January 1966, another one in Ibadan in a July , and our journey would never remain the same again.

A floodgate of bloodbaths was opened, a war broke out , a massacre in Asaba shook the world, a Federal force recorded heavy casualties at Abagana, a bridge fell across river niger, the voice of a warlord that echoed from Ahiara couldn't bring a secession dream to pass.
A blockade cut short many dreams, malnourished children living side by side with vultures on farmlands.
A war ended without a victor or a vanquished and a leader's voice echoed from Dodan Barracks; "Go On With One Nigeria!

Our journey as a people, has been eventful, we saw a leader assassinated in a February, Democratic government on an October 1st in 1979.
A democratic process never saw the new year of 1984 and one of those who cut it short, is the one leading the democratic song in our sacred shine of leadership today.
An election was annulled, thrice we saw our leaders draped in national colours heading to North Western states of Kano and Katsina states for burials.

We saw a do or die election breeding do or die situations on our land.
Elections for many of us became a war affair until a leader inspired us when he told us that "my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian."
They prophesied that we were going to split in 2015. In that same year, a phone call salvaged a situation and we brought those prophets of doom to come and watch as we inspired Africa and the world that election can be free and fair at Eagles' Square.

I must stop at this point, to thank those men and women, who have stood by us all the way.
We thank our senior citizens, those who laid their lives for this common dream.
Our journey from 1960 to date has come with mixed feelings.
We have had our glorious moments, we have had moments we gyrate in stadia to see a team flying our colour to victory.

We have had moments, when our Armed Forces make us proud, when they caged violence in Liberia, silenced a fountain of blood in S/Leone, ended genocide in Daffur, clear debris in Sambisa and the list is endless.

We saw our economy becoming the first in Africa...and this must reflect in the life of every Nigerian.
We have seen poverty and corruption roaring freely on our streets and institutions.
When the clarion call came, the generation before us sacrificed patriotism on the altar of tribalism.
They sacrificed humanism on the altar of materialism.
Regional militias now gaining ground. Boko Haram in the north, MASSOB in the east, OPC in the west, Ombatse at the center, MEND mending in the south... which way Nigeria?

We have seen where tribalism, religion and materialism ended the generation before us. If we don't channel a new path, we are most likely to perish like them if we follow their paths in this regard.
The battle for the soul of Nigeria, is not a one man battle, but a collective battle.
We must remember that, for this course many have died for.
We must remember that, for this course, many are dying for.

We need to renew our commitments as a people and hold the Nigerian Dream with great faith.
Yes, great faith... the type of faith little John has in Dogo Nahawa , when he daily walk to school and passing a mass grave where his father, mother and siblings are, but would still stand on an assembly ground for the National Anthem of the country that couldn't save his family.
Yes, great faith, ... that type Terungwa demonstrates in Zaki Biam, when was seen tilling the same farmland that sword cut short his father and mother's lives...to Terungwa, the school fees and feeding of his remaining siblings must come from the same farmland.

Yes, great faith, ... that type a widow Mrs Grace Omokoro Joy had, when she came out to vote despite she losing her only son (Joel Olukayode) the day terror hit us at Nyanya.
The Faith story is endless, from Agatu to Odi, from Alu to Maiduguri, from IDPs camps to emergency wards of our hospitals, the story is the same of someone who is looking above the reality life has brought his/her way and rising above limits.

To all our mothers, we thank you for your steadfastness.
You show us the unlimited inherent potentials in you. When you give life and opportunity to live and your breast nourish generations.
When flood came calling, you stormed a classroom and made a home from a corner, you did this to nurture dreams of younger generations... we say thank you.

You stretched yourself beyond normal, to first register our name on Olympic medals' table.
You inspired us greatly, when despite numerous negative realities, you stormed a podium with bullet hole in your scarf, when you told us; NIGERIA GOOD PEOPLE GREAT NATION.
As I conclude, I want to bring you the greetings of men and women who are sleeping at our National cemeteries, they extend their love.
They fell for us and for them we must leave.

The promise that the labour of our heroes past shall not be in vain, must never be broken.
This banner that has been handed over to us with stains, can still be washed clean.
With your faith, hope, love and patriotism, the Nigeria of our dream is still possible.
Happy Independence anniversary Nigeria and Nigerians.
- Enenche Enenche (Comedian)
October 1st, 2015, 10:30 AM GMT+1
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