It's Nigeria's birthday all over again, who knew the years could spin by so fast. Just yesterday of 1960 we were in a festive mood just like this, the love and joy of independence putting us all in different celebratory moods.
One thing that was common to all though, was the drive to make this nation better. Imagine our joy when the national pledge was finally introduced: I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory forever and ever, so help me God!
God! The pride and sense of honor that used to come with reciting that pledge, the way our leaders used to carry it on their head. Almost every official, down to the least of police constables in their khaki shorts were honest to a fault. In fact a civil servant had the particular amount of shillings he could be found with. If you build a house above your pay grade you will be thoroughly checked. What a time that was?!
But we grew older and the commitment dwindled, the joy in the new country became stale, our unity became defenceless and our honor and glory began to dim, the joy to serve became a hardship and for God's sake where is our strength.
The same people out there cheering today and reciting the pledge at the top of their lungs wouldn't take the words to heart any more than a foreigner would. The pledge has become a mere chorus, devoid of feelings, unable to tug at emotions.
It has become a mantra to be performed at formal occasions, schools recite it as part of a schedule and our leaders can't even remember it. The people feel no joy but still scream "I Pledge to Nigeria my country".
We will be 60 soon, let's see this birthday as we see our personal ones, it's a time for reflection on the past and looking towards the future, not one for mindless celebrations which further weaken the institution of the state. Let us reignite the pride of Nigeria in our hearts, let's us raise our head high as we chant the national anthem and the the heralds scream with deep understanding and fervor
"I Pledge To Nigeria My Country!"
Nigeria at 56!!
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