There are reasons behind every celebration in life. Families all over the world choose to celebrate occasions that are important to them. Birthdays celebrate a person’s age, weddings celebrate the marriage of two people and the union of two families while family reunions celebrate the bringing together of families that may have become separated over a period of time. Nigeria is no exception as it celebrates her 60th independence anniversary from the British Colonial rules on October 1, 1960.
I hope you are not thinking Nigeria has been in existed for only 60 years. Definitely not.
According to archaeological research, Nigeria has been in existence since early 9000 BC but it was not until the 1800swhen the British came to West Africa for trade and to propagate the gospel that Nigeria became known.
Do you know that the British colonized Nigeria in a way known as indirect rule? This kind of rule simply means that they ruled us through our local rulers and kings. They knew that the citizens respected and obeyed their local rulers and that they may not want to obey someone else without a fight. So, they paid the local rulers to control and enforce their laws on the people.
For so long, Nigerian endured the British indirect rule out of ignorance until great Nigerian men like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa travelled out of the shore of Nigeria to study and they saw the evil of colonialism. When they returned into the country, the struggle for independence and by an Act of the British Parliament, Nigeria became an independent country within the Commonwealth on October 1, 1960. Nigeria marked total independence from Britain when it became a Federal Republic when a new constitution was adopted on 1 October 1963.
Nigeria, being independent from the British colonial rule means that, whether directly or indirectly, the British no longer have control over Nigeria and that the citizens of Nigeria can govern themselves without interference from any external factor.
Is this not worth celebrating?
Rome was not built in a day. Every challenge we face as a nation cannot stop Nigeria from being a great nation that it is. Nigeria will survive, Africa will survive.
Happy 60th Independence Anniversary celebration to us as a nation.