Nigeria Independence Day

Nigeria Independence Day – celebrating 54 years of Independence.
naijaAt a celebration of the Nigerian Independence Day we rose to sing the anthem. Listening and pondering the words of the anthem I wondered what went wrong.

I imagined what the people who wrote the words of the anthem must have imagined for Nigeria. What promise and hope must have been bubbling at the time of independence. You can’t help but assess the situation now 54 years later and wonder what has gone wrong?

Can we say we are living the promise of what independence was to have offered when you look at the words of the anthem?

Arise, O compatriots,
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our Fatherland
With love and strength and faith.
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain,
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.

O God of creation
Direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice shall reign.

Do we have this Nation today? Does peace, truth, love, honesty and justice exist talk less of reign? It is worth considering and wondering how we seem to have come so far away from the initial ideals of an independent Nigeria.

Towards the end of the celebration we were then asked to rise up and sing what i consider a new anthem for Nigeria that gives hope, that gives promise, it inspires and encourages Nigerians to look forward to a better nation. If words could be used to make a change then this song for Nigeria could do it.

It is “Great Nation” by Timi Dakolo

Here we stand as a people
With one song: with one voice
We’re a nation: undivided and poised
We will take our stand: and build our land
With faith: to defend what we love

Here we are as a people
With one heart: for one cause
We’re determined: to rebuild and restore
Where freedom reigns: and truth prevails
A land where there’s hope for us all.

We’re all we have, we’ll defend our land
We believe in this nation, and we know we’ll get there
We’re all we have, we’ll defend our land
We believe in Nigeria and the promise she holds
And that one day we’ll shine like the sun
We’re a great nation

Though we are many people
Different tribes: different tongues
We’re united in our strength and resolve
To uphold the honour of our land
And for generations to come

We’re all we have, we’ll defend our land
We believe in this nation, and we know we’ll get there
We’re all we have, we’ll defend our land
We believe in Nigeria and the promise she holds
And that one day we’ll shine like the sun
We’re a great nation

Yes Timi’s song evokes emotion if you are a Nigerian and one who desires a better nation. It makes it clear we all have to be committed to rebuild, to restore and to defend our land. We all have to believe that Nigeria can become what it should be, that it can indeed shine and truth can prevail.

As we celebrate Nigeria’s Independence today, while there are a lot of disappointments we must not give up, we cannot just point fingers as to how we got to where we are today. We must focus and commit to rebuild, restore and thereby build a great nation.

Happy Independence Day!

photo source: Naij.com

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