ON THIS DAY, 1ST OCTOBER OF EVERY YEAR, WE CELEBRATE OUR INDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM FROM COLONIALISM. ON 1ST OCTOBER 1960, THE DAY NIGERIA GOT HER INDEPENDENCE, THE FIRST NATIONAL ANTHEM WAS SUNG OFFICIALLY.
THE NEW NIGERIAN GREEN-WHITE-GREEN FLAG RAISED AND THE BRITISH COLONIAL FLAG LOWERED, SIGNIFYING DISENGAGEMENT.
Millions of young Nigerians who today are senior citizens witnessed and cherished our National Anthems of the past and present. However, within historical perspectives, and without prejudice to the dictum of “Away With Colonialism,” the beautiful lyrics and song of the first National Anthem are still meaningful and patriotic. The lyrics truly engendered unity and trust as demonstrated by our nationalist founding fathers. The memorabilia cannot just be wished away easily.
What is even absolutely fascinating and heart-touching about the historical video song is the feeling of excitement, exuded on the faces of the Colonialists, while singing the first Nigeria National Anthem. They were very happy and quite optimistic about the future of a young Nation they nurtured; given our enormous human and natural endowments. They had hoped and believed that it will emerge the greatest Black Nation within half a century of its independence.
The hopes, dreams, and optimism about the rise of a new and powerful nation in Africa saw rapid development and more sincere service delivery within first two and half decades of independence.
Today, lamentably, a nation that was amalgamated in 1914 (109 years ago), birthed as Independent in 1960 (63 years ago) and a Republic in 1963 (60 years ago), is throttling slowly and barely a shadow of its old self. Much of its cherished values, in words and deeds, have systematically been fizzling out and bastardized, leaving behind a near sorry state of people that are compelled to fester on ethnicity and religious bigotry. Worst still, the people are subdued by the pestilential stench of corruption and astute leadership challenges in the governance arena.
In this moment of deep reflections on varied national issues, we should morally and ethically appreciate the essence and beauty of good governance; strive to engender, more aggressively, the ideals of Human Capital Development; respect for Rule of Law to be assertively applied to the letter for purposes of accountability, justice and equity.
The current National Anthem, adopted in 1978 (45 years ago) is beautiful and pregnant in words, meanings and spirit. Beautiful in the light of call to duty with diligence and prayer to God to protect the Citizenry and Fatherland:
“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,”
As we recite the Anthem in wording and spirit, it should be with deep philosophical reflections to respond to the callings of inspiration and securing the trust and support of each other at all times.
Nigeria, a great nation;
Nigerians, resilient people
Nigerians, O Compatriots that hailed,
Arose and kept the nation one
Through patriotic reflections of
Age-long lyrics of,
“NIGERIA, we hail Thee…
Though Tribes and Tongues may differ,
In brotherhood we stand.
…. Proud to serve our sovereign Motherland,
Our (Green-White-Green) Flag shall be a symbol…”
The past and present lyrics in our anthems have continuously reawaken us towards rededicated service to the People and Country. In brotherhood we have truly been standing. With God sustaining us and granting our request, all hopes and confidence should not be lost on the country, especially under the new leadership of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
With the mantra of “RENEWED HOPE” is an assurance of Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress for the People and Country. May our journey towards progress and prosperity continue to shine brightly.
#HappyIndependenceNigeria, 63 YEARS INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION ON THIS AUSPICIOUS DAY, 1ST OCTOBER 2023!
Video: The First National Anthem
— Matthewtegha (@matthewtegha) September 30, 2023