Happy independence celebration: Nigeria at 54

Today, Nigeria is celebrating its 54th Independence Anniversary with a lot of mixed feelings, good and bad stories to tell, numerous openings to patch and unimaginable wounds to heal. For me, this is a story of every nation, especially a diverse country like ours, that would have to crawl, stagger and attain development. The road is always rough, thorny and arduous.

Some people believe, at 54, Nigeria is matured enough to put all early developmental crises behind its back. I feel this is true if Nigerians mean allowing their cherished country to reach its greater height. 

If I were in Nigeria today, I’d have loved to read this poem to the audience of our independence celebration. All the same, the Internet has provided the closest connectivity that takes away distance and boundaries. So, I’d like to share this piece with you – a reflection of my thought for Nigeria – as a tribute to today’s Independence Anniversary.

O rise my compatriots!

Let’s keep the hope! Let’s sing the song!

Let’s remember the promise of the beginning

You, Nigeria, traversed back and forth

A long and undulating voyage across the Atlantic

A solitude mission through the mystical cosmos

On October 1st, that unforgettable year, you were born

A tree that would nourish and fruit its people

Soon, through a thorny and clumpy road

You would taste the bitterness of freedom

When the sharp talons of the civil war clutched your back

You cried and crawled; fought back so hard

Recollected your pieces and dusted yourself up again!

Like the Iroko, you still stand so tall, your head high up

You, Nigeria!

It’s not your wealth that makes you the giant of Africa

Nor your beautiful land the destination of the world

Or even your number a formidable black nation on earth

It’s the love and hope you give to your people!

The promise you give to all that come to your shores

The faith you keep in the diversity and dynamism of your culture

The tolerance you planted at the confluence of Niger and Benue

Which flourish through the streams and channels of your land

You lack nothing and have all it takes to fulfil the promise of your founding

Even when today we see a pregnant storm, a violent tide

Whirling and raising, dancing in a dance of destruction

Towards this titanic ship, towards you, Nigeria!

We still believe in you! We trust you can!

Race my horse! Fly my eagle! O rise my compatriots!

4 thoughts on “Happy independence celebration: Nigeria at 54

  1. Thanks Uche. First, we need to change our thoughts about our beloved country Nigeria. Most of us abroad especially,really have to deliberately say (prophesy) good things about, and pray for our nation. Even if you have naturalized wherever you are, Nigeria is still your roots, if you were born there!
    Happy independence Nigeria & here’s wishing you greater strides in the future in Jesus name.
    Oludotun A. Idowu

    1. Thank you Idowu for your comment. It may interest you to know that the farther you leave away from home the more nostalgic you become. Nigerians in the diaspora, though they may not be physically at home due to their peculiar circumstance, they really long for the country and desire ardently to contribute their quota. We hope soon to join you inshaa Allah.


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