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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Nigerians, happy independence

Bayo Fasuwon

Congratulations to fellow Nigerians and Comrades. Today, we remember with nostalgia, the excitement, jubilations and congratulatory messages that accompanied the lowering of the British Union Jack, the end of racial discrimination in our fatherland and the hoist of our pride, the Green-White-Green flag, designed by an indigene, Gbenga Akinkumi, in the authentication of our well-deserved independence from colonial subjugation, manipulation, exploitation and attempted cultural annihilation.

Today, we celebrate the vision, forthrightness, thoughtfulness and doggedness of our Nationalists, who dug their heels, laced their boots, enhanced their voices, and were unified in the purpose of unplugging the nation from the tight grip of European Governor-Generals. We should recall that gaining independence was not easy, but we did not have to engage in physical warfare, nor injure the Britons, before we got our desire emancipation. If we did not have to fight brutally, but by words and unification attained the feat which some still seek for, there is no reason to kill your siblings in this forthcoming election. We have observed that we often unite to oppose and unseat our collective adversaries. /this we have shown in sports, fight against Ebola and COVID 19, and other natural disasters.

In those instances, we remained one Nigeria. But when it comes to uniting against the social forces of criminality, poverty, unemployment and other oppressors, we allow nepotism, ethnicity, religion and self centres love to divide us. So, while international political aggressors were overcome by our unity in diversity, we embrace diversity for disunity in issues that could have benefitted us. Fellow Nigerians, we remain therefore our enemies, and anti-development forces.

Then, our forefathers gallantly articulated their demands, aggregated their opinions and marshalled their points with cerebral intellectualism that disarmed the oppressing intruders. Are our present leaders’ illiterates? The present speeches that emanated from their buccal cavity are less inspiring, unmoving, formless and void.

Rather than engage in tantrums, character assassination or ride on the back ethnic fanaticism, change for and in our nation should be pursued by the objective articulation of issues, debates, and the presentation of a consensus stand that would rid the nation of the current crop of slave dealers, and rabble raising clandestine kleptomaniacs. Just as our Nationalists then were decisive about what they want from and for their fatherland, it is time to draw our change agenda, and seek for the person and or party that can deliver on our terms. While we seek for our collective pacification and development, let us identify and remain weary of those whose filled bellies are out to subvert the people’s will, and enthrone an oligarchy of perverts in power. Fellow comrades and true lovers of this nation, it is time to shame money, and enthrone an all-round sound person that would rescue this perishing nation.

Dear youths, contrary to what the older generations are forcing down your throats, you are the real owners of this nation. In truth, you remain the true Nigerians. Recall that the Nationalists who jaw-jawed and extricated the nation from the ruling foreign cabals were all youths in their time. They had a true revelation of who they are and what the nation demanded of them. They found their purpose, pursued it and achieved the goal. That was their destiny, and they did not frustrate the grace bestowed upon them. The old men and women in this nation are mere custodians, who hold the nation in trust for the youths. They are best positioned as the Technical Special Advisers to those on whose shoulders the development agenda of the nation should rest – the youths. Unfortunately, Comrades, the youths have left their destinies to pursue vanities. They need to wake up, take up their calling and call the ebbing parents to order.

But can the disordered command order? Fellow youths, it is time to arise from the game board, the betting parlours, the pornographic sites, and the make money quick illusions. Twenty percent of the youths in Nigeria, if fully engaged in Agriculture can feed the whole continent, and turn Nigeria into the Egypt of Joseph days, where nations came to get victuals.

The youths need to arise in their numbers and decide that ‘this is what we want’. As the ASUU strike lingers, one can only imagine what government’s response would be if all the youths rise up to say ‘enough is enough’, Comrade youths, arise in your articulated intellectualism and rugged insistence for truth to demand for independence for all educational institutions in Nigeria. Violent change however should not be the modus operandi, but forget not your PVC, and informed guidance.

The time is now for the nation’s energetic. Resilient and well-informed youths to desist from chorusing the lies of the aging past. Nigeria remains a strong, virile and rich nation. Forget the ‘no money’ slogan that are peddled to ensure that the looting grandparents continue in their stealing spree. Demand for the productive utilization of your sweat. Remember the monies you do not demand for, would be available for looting. You remain the major productive force of this nation, hence if you decide to sneeze the oppressors would catch cold.

Stop complaining, and start acting as the strong soldiers that you are destined to be. Seek how to benefit from all government’s often repeated tradermoni, e-money, market money, agriculture funds. Low interest loans and many others. Demand from the State governments, good governance and publication of their yearly programs for verification and monitoring. O youths, on your shoulders lay the second wave of our national rebirth, independence from ruining cabals, and national development. Arise and be counted.

ASUU, your courage is saluted, and your course noble. The pains you inflict on Nigerians is just a fraction of the pains you had for long endured. Comrades, our Nationalists seeking independence 62 years ago were resolute, focused and adamant, so you must be. Remember that the now University of Ibadan equipped the Nationalists and other youths with the intellectual sagacity to pilot their agitations, your assignment is no less than theirs.

The Nationalists who handed to us the Independence that we now celebrate, and the gladiators who fought for independence from military rule, were all at one time bullied, castigated, imprisoned, banished and blackmailed, but their resilience ensured our celebrations till date.  Ensure that your current struggle is executed without rancor, bitterness and self-centeredness. Above all, ensure that the present strike would birth answers that would ensure that in many years to come, strike shall no longer be mouthed in our tertiary institutions. Be satisfied so that your energies on resumption would remain undivided in producing inventions that would place Nigeria on the global map of tourism. Dedicate yourselves, on resumption to the building of the nation for the generations yet to come. Resume satisfied and not stratified. 

Fellow comrades and independent Nigerians, the nation has produced world record breakers, inventors, Grammy winners and astounding men and women of global reckoning. This is a great nation, ordained by God for signs and wonders, but mutilated by insolent treasury looters and power brokers. Compatriots, the opportunity comes with a hard-earned democracy to acquire a worthwhile second wave independence. Let us join hands, sing the national anthem, and bring it to life.

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