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Nigeria Turns 54: An African Dream, Still but A Giant In Imbalance

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Dubbed the Giant of Africa, Nigeria gained independence from colonial rule by the British on October 1st, 1960. So, next week Nigeria will be 54!

Encompassing several tribes, Nigeria shines with evident cultural and religious diversity. The country has been known for possessing very economically-vital resources, perhaps the most common of which is crude oil. Nigeria is a country with great potential, some of which, sadly, it is yet to begin to reach. The film industry of Nigeria – Nollywood, has soared tremendous heights in Africa and abroad. Nigeria’s economy recently became the largest in Africa. So, you see, Nigeria is an African Dream. It is a shining light in Africa which not all Nigerians including myself often realize, as for years the nation has been smeared with outrageous corruption among leaders at different levels of government; a huge financial inequity among the population. Also, in very recent years, terrorism has placed the Giant further in imbalance.

The economy of any nation affects the standard of living of members of the population. Nigeria’s economy is performing very much below its potential. Even the report on the milestone that Nigeria reached on becoming Africa’s largest economy acknowledged than more than half of the population are living in poverty.

My fellow Nigerians, possibly like many of you, I have an on-and-off relationship with faith, with regard to my reflections on our nation, Nigeria. However, my consolation has been the realization that you need not be a member of the government or a wealthy person to have power to make change. If members of the public do what is right, they can begin to put an end to vices that have become norms in Nigeria. Positivity and virtue sometimes spread like wildfire. So, if in your personal life you practice fairness, equality and peace, you are consciously or unconsciously moving Nigeria forward. Nigeria is the country, the land with raw materials and resources, the space, it (Nigeria) cannot do anything without the living beings that it consists of.

So, my fellow Nigerians, my hope is that as Nigeria turns 54 on October 1st, 2014, you will celebrate acknowledging the blessed nation that you have been given. It should also be a day of reflection for all concerned Nigerians. A reflection on what we can do in our personal lives to influence the Nigerian community positively, whether you live in Nigeria or are representing abroad. Let me remind you again that every human being possesses power and you decide whether to use your power positively or otherwise. Another reminder is that the government is people and the public is people too. Thus, as you hope (like I hope) for some leaders in the government to start doing what is right for Nigeria and Nigerians, believe in yourself as a member of the public and do what is right and believe that by doing so, you are playing your part in improving Nigeria.

Happy birthday to a country that I will always love and forever believe in – Nigeria!! To my fellow Nigerians, have a happy happy Independence Day.

Love & Peace,

Chiamaka.

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