Challenges of Independence
Deltans joined the rest of the country in celebrating 48 years of Nigeria’s nationhood last Wednesday. Save for the Nigeria Police who turned out in ceremonial uniforms at an entertaining parade, there wasn’t much difference in this year’s edition, which compared with the preceding year’s.
The school children and voluntary organizations came out in march pasts with the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, taking the salute. There were also cultural displays
The governor, in his address to Deltans at the Cenotaph Pavilion, Asaba, paid glowing tributes to the nation’s founding fathers, whom, he said, fought for the attainment of independence in 1960. He said we owe these founding fathers “a debt of gratitude” for their sacrifice and dogged fight against colonial rule.
Governor Uduaghan recognized that the task of building a prosperous, united and stable Nigeria had been extremely challenging. Instructively, he noted that “with hindsight we have all realized that the task of building the nation of our dreams was not going to be a hundred meter dash, it is a marathon which demands a lot of stamina, stability and a great deal of concentration.” Ironically, the governor observed that 48 years after independence, the country is in-between the starting line and the finishing line.
But like a successful marathoner who knows it is futile and defeatist to dwell on mistakes while the race lasts, the governor advised that we should as Nigerians see our past difficulties as teething and fleeting problems which have provided useful lessons for nation-building.
No doubt, Nigeria since independence has demonstrated that despite the usual problems associated with third world countries, its standing and influence as a respected member of the international community has continued to grow. As rightly observed by Governor Uduaghan, the country is acknowledged as the greatest black nation and the unrivalled leader in Africa. With the current strides being taken, as envisioned by vision 2020, our country seem poised for real greatness in no distant time.