The Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, in the 2023 general election, Dumebi Kachikwu, has disclosed that Nigerians have no reason to roll out drums in commemoration of her 63rd Independence day anniversary.
Kachikwu made this known in his independence message, noting that Nigerians lamented their lack of independence from abject poverty, corruption, clueless leadership, lack of basic amenities and the insecurity that gets worse by the day.
Giving hope to Nigerians, Kachikwu urged all citizens to dare to dream again for a better Nigeria, saying that the best was still yet to come.
He said, “On a day when Nigerians all over the world and our well-wishers are supposed to say happy Independence Day, many wonder if there is truly anything to be happy about in Nigeria or about Nigeria.
“As gloom pervades the land, Nigerians bemoan their lack of independence from endemic poverty, corruption, clueless leadership, lack of basic amenities and the insecurity that gets worse by the day.
“Several years after, the words of Professor Aluko still ring through when he said “the poor cannot sleep because they are hungry, and the rich cannot sleep because the poor are awake and hungry. Many don’t know who to blame and many have resorted to self-help and shortcuts in other to survive.
“Most Nigerians were born into this state of affairs and have lived it all their lives. This is the Nigeria our fathers gave us, but I am not sure this is the Nigeria their parents gave them. Those who birthed Nigeria in 1960 were dreamers who believed Nigeria could be so much better under the leadership of the natives of the land. They dreamt of a Nigerian that could rival her colonial masters on the world stage. They dreamt of a Nigeria whose citizens were united, educated and prosperous.
“They believed that in the year 2023 our nation would lead the world in all fields of human endeavor but looking at the situation in our country today as we begin another year in our nationhood, it is pertinent to ask the question ‘WHO DID THIS TO US?”
“We don’t have to look far to answer this question. Our leaders did this to us. Our fathers did this to us. Decades of bad leadership coupled with a docile followership who didn’t ask questions or demand better did this to us. They accepted a mediocre government as normal and thus became mediocre in their servitude to nation and self.
“What is interesting is that these same crops of leaders still dominate our political landscape today. Leaders and fathers who have stopped dreaming and envisioning. They are trapped in the fear of their mistakes and misdeeds. They fail to admit their inadequacies and continue to dance the drunkard’s dance. A shameful dance to drumbeats only the dancer can hear.
“We ought to be celebrating so much today but here we are with little to celebrate or cheer about. Our differences continue to divide us while our political class strangle the people. The chokehold of tribe, tongue and religion remain as strong as ever in our DNA. Northern Nigeria has nothing to show for the last eight years of a Buhari presidency, but a few northern elites certainly do. Will Southwest Nigeria have anything to show for their turn: only time will tell.
“Time is however saying that today our leadership must move away from the destructive pathway of my turn/our turn to the progressive highway of Nigeria first. Nigeria first was the foundation upon which our forefathers built their dream of a nation of limitless possibilities. They envisaged a country that would be a beacon of hope for the negro all over the world. A home to all men and women of goodwill.
“This Nigeria we see today is not the Nigeria of their dreams neither is it the Nigeria of our dreams. A pariah nation whose citizens are banned abroad and hounded at home. Citizens whose only crime is the yoke of a failed and purposeless leadership cocooned in a nation of impossibilities.
“My dear Nigerians, we have heard it all and we have heard nothing. We have seen it all and we have seen nothing. The question therefore remains: is there yet hope for a better tomorrow? Can we dare to dream again? Is there yet a spark in our members that may yet spark a fire of rebirth?
“Citizens of Nigeria, can we dare to dream again? Can we thread the ancient paths of greatness our forefathers walked? Can we who are called eagles fly once again? These are the salient questions we must answer as we begin to understand that potential has no age. Our potential is limitless and when aggregated together can redefine our nation. The combined potential of over two hundred million Nigerians can change the world.
“As we have conquered in music, arts and sports, so must we conquer in engineering and applied sciences, agriculture, robotics and all spheres of human endeavor. This is the era of exodus or jakpa, but the exodus must be only in the direction of the promised land, our God given nation called Nigeria.
“We need to rise and rebuild. We need to build stronger and deeper foundations to sustain the peace and harmony of multiple tribes who have called this geographical space home. Elections are over but our lives are not over. Let us retool and repurpose. Let us come together and redesign the pathway to our future.
“A future steeped in excellence and meritocracy. A future of good governance and rule of law. A future of shared dreams hopes and aspirations. A future of a Nigeria that works for everyone irrespective of tribe, tongue, religion or political party affiliation.
“If our fathers failed in this, we mustn’t also fail. With a renewed sense of hope and optimism we must all strive towards individual rebirth that leads to national rebirth. We will yet fly again. We will yet take our place of pride in the committee of nations. We will yet feed our poor and needy. We will grow our economy and build world class infrastructure.
“We will revise our education curriculum and prepare our children for a future of excellence and leadership. We will secure our borders and maintain the peace. We will provide good paying jobs for all those who are willing and able to work. We will build a country whose people are known as ONE NIGERIA.
“Our government might have failed us but we the Nigerian people can and will do all these if we can dare to dream again. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless you all. Happy Independence Day”.