On Peace: My Nigeria
Amb. Tunde OGUNYALE
Yesterday marked the 59th Independence Day anniversary of our dear nation Nigeria and we joined millions of other noble citizens to celebrate it in our own way at Peacepace. What’s the celebration all about? It’s not a testament of our prosperity as a nation and neither was it an evidence of presence of peace,security and welfare in the republic as enshrined in section 14(2)(b) of our constitution, 1999 (as amended). Our celebration was simply that of hope, of optimism, and of faith that this nation will be better if we all do the needful.
Even though we are not yet seeing the Nigeria of our dream, we have come a long way and we have made some progress. Sometime ago I wrote a poem titled “My Nigeria” in celebration of our nation despite the glaring odds and I have reproduced the piece below to strengthen our thought, encourage our mind, and inspire us to take positive, enduring action as private citizens. The poem:
She is an almagam of ancient kingdoms; christened in 1898 with a name eponymous to the Niger river;
Breezing through her vain with the confluent Benue river
Which divides her into unequal dichotomies
Only to be married ten decades ago.
Alas!Her pace was not hers to dictate
Like a slave;she became a servitor in servitude in the service of her slave master Like a learner; she became an apprentice to her White Lord
Like a helpless mistress;she was ravished of her resources,
On water,in ships,her goods were shipped to build her master’s haven
She had a great harvest but was struggling for crumbs
She had a throne but was offered the floor The hands of her master were potent on her.
At the peak of her voice for liberation Freedom paid her a homage but she was never freed
From second slavery;self enslavement,her obstacles.
Her chiefs became power drunk and focused at sectional ends
Neglecting the central course -‘Unity’,the pillar of her throne
Her warriors seized the throne to see Jackboot reigns
And the innocents’ bloods flooded her streets
Things fell apart and the centre could not hold.
Can anything good come out of her Nazareth?
At independence,the freedom to be freed is an achievement.
Her role in the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission is a landmark.
Today her name is entrenched firmly on the map of sporting nations.
In the globe’s record, her June 12 free & fair election is boldly written.
Poco -a-poco her educational system is towering higher.
Upon her challenges,she is named the premier destination for investment in Africa And the pinnacle is in her continuous growth.
If none will be weary and get the eagle’s strength If all will ride on her horse with dignity
On her fortuitous land,the symbols of her Coat of Arms
Then,with Unity and Faith plus Peace My Nigeria shall Progress.
For Peacepace Initiative…towards peace.