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Opinion: October 1: A Time To Feel Sober And Remorseful, Not Celebrating- By Yanju Uwala



Two days ago, I asked what is the purpose of celebrating the so-called “Independence Day”, though I have been receiving some feedbacks, but these are not enough to satisfy my curiosity. May I let out some of these feedbacks for the purpose of this write up, a brother said, since I am happy, not hungry and healthy, I should be able to celebrate the independence day, while another one said I should visit South Sudan, Libya, Syria and the rest to know the reason.

Yes, I found these response not satisfying enough, and why? Being healthy or not hungry or even happy (though I am not) doesn’t mean we should look at the state of our nation and fold arms, yes I might be eating three square meals per day, but what of others not even able to drink soaked cassava flakes (garri), though I have accommodation over my head, now what of others that doesn’t have the opportunity, does that mean I should not care of others since I’m okay?

Taking a look at South Sudan, Syria, Libya and the rest war-torn countries is even out of the way, why not ask me to take a view at Ghana, South Africa, UK or even Rwanda that is growing even after years of genocide to celebrate our stunted growth as a nation.


The fact is that people will usually look for means to celebrate or convince others to celebrate this so-called “Independence Day”, yes, you’re at liberty, I mean freedom to do so, but should we continue like this even after 58 years of independence and 19 years of democratic process in the country, how long are we going to stay with this?

A popular adage says, “a fool at 40 is a fool forever”, whether the adage still stands or the age has been changed, I cannot say. But in Yoruba land, if at 40 years, you’re yet to own a home (either rented or personal) or have a work of your own, either personal or government, people will see you as irresponsible, and you won’t even have the moral to stand among other people. Isn’t this what our dear nation is facing at 58 years, and we believe it’s right to celebrate her?

Foremost English author, Brigham Young said “True Independence And Freedom Can Only Exist In Doing What Is Right” and yet we are not doing what it is right or are we doing it? Yet we celebrate our medicority called independence day.


Today, should be a day we should feel remorseful, to reflect on the past and present, if possible shake the whole country and demand for true governance from our selfish leaders, and also question ourselves on how we arrived at this particular sorry state of affairs

The Nigerian state has been in a sorry state for the past few decades and we need to be in sober reflection even at this auspicious time of our independence anniversary

What Brigham Young said above is right, but this hasn’t existed even after 19 years of democratic experience in our country.


This is not an acceptable proposition for the progress and development of our democracy.

But as non-thinking nation paving way for growth and development, rather we continue to dance and celebrate in mediocrity, throw up the place in hypocrisy, shout to all selfish and despotic leaders with happiness, we cannot move our of the place we are in now.

I am very sure, President Muhammadu Buhari in his independence day speech would have enrolled some of his plans for the next few months and also talk about his achievements, but there are more to do to in his administration.


However, I will continue to foresee a better and reliable Nigeria now and no longer in the future as we dream, but till then, we need to feel sober and put on our thinking caps on why this nation is like this.

I am saying this, as if I am the only young Nigerian that feel the pains, anguish and suffering the nation is passing through, and it seems no one is sharing in my feelings, though there maybe but my own reason is that generations under me will definitely question me why I allow my country to be like this during my time, so what should I say?

I remember telling a young lady this last Friday, and she told me that she’s not planning to have her children in Nigeria, but in a foreign country, having cited the reason for the way our our dear nation is being run. I came down on myself and asked, is this same way all our young people are thinking, even though a friend also said same thing to me days back, though being a good idea to them, have they asked themselves why planning to rush down there if their system isn’t working well, if there is no good government, so why can’t we make our own more and much better, so that we won’t be planning to rush there.


Our political environment is bad, educational sector in shambles, security in tatters, infrastructural facilities, begging for repairs and upgrading, no good job for young graduates, our aged fathers and mothers having served the country are been relinquished of their rights (pensions), our nation is filled with lies and injustice, yet we pray to God for change and we forgot that “righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

On this note, I will say Happy New Month and Wishing you a sober and remorseful day…

Yanju Uwala, is a writer and can be reached via twitter: @samade327