By Salmon Adedapo
It is that time of the year when the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his cabinet gather at Eagle Square amidst pomp and pageantry to mark the day the British empire handed over authority to Nigerians – independence.
As we celebrate independence from our colonial oppressors, we mustn’t lose focus of our goal to free all Nigerians of all backgrounds from the shackles of poverty and bad governance.
The reminders are not to diminish the enthusiasm that this day brings; it is a reminder not to forget our compatriots in the trenches. They deserve to be remembered.
The term “independence” is complex. It transcends breaking away from the British monarchy. It is the freedom to association, freedom of speech, freedom to live, freedom of movement and many more. Despite our independence, these freedoms are not available to millions of Nigerians.
As we celebrate our 62nd independence, remember that thousands of Nigerians are reportedly kept in prisons without fair trials and hearings.
As we celebrate our 62nd independence, let’s remember that the federal and state universities have been on strike for seven months.
As we celebrate our 62nd independence, let’s not forget that Nigerians’ right to assemble peacefully has/was trampled on numerous occasions, for example, #EndSARS
How can we set things straight? By becoming active citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
How do you become active citizens?
Stay up to date on local politics: Join local and grassroots political movements to make your voice and affect your desired change.
Volunteer in your community. Pick dates on which you participate in community activities. Reach out to the underprivileged and offer assistance, i.e. represent wrongly incarcerated people in courts if you are a lawyer.
Share your ideas and partake in debates on the polity in your community. An informed community will most likely make an informed decision during the election.
Support your local businesses. As the effects of the pandemic – recession, inflation etc. – reveal themselves, we must rally support for the local businesses in our community
And DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE. Politicians listen to one thing, and it is VOTE. When we work together to create better turnout in elections, our community will benefit from good governance.
Despite the challenges we’ve faced as a nation, we should celebrate our Independence Day. We look forward to the day where you and I can be truly independent and are proud of it.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, NIGERIANS