Nigeria At 61: The Journey Of ‘African Giant’ So Far

Nigeria At 61: The Journey Of ‘African Giant’ So Far

By Mukhtar Garba Kobi

Nigeria is a country located in West Africa which was colonized by British, it was granted independence in 1960 after series of meetings at home and abroad by our elites that were so diverse in religion, tribes and regions but worked exertly together as one for the country’s emancipation.

Nigeria shares land borders with Niger Republic in the North, Chad and Cameroon in the East, Gulf of Guinea to the South of Atlantic Ocean and Benin Republic in the West; the country is excessively blessed with both natural and human resources.

In 1914, the British colonials under Lord Friedrich Luggard amalgamated the Southern and Northern protectorates into a single colony and protectorate of Nigeria, the amalgamation of over 250 diverse ethnic groups and two separate provinces is obviously the first effort that unified the country which yielded positive results.

From independence, Nigeria took upon itself the role of uniting Africans against Western re-colonization; colonialists used colonialism primarily to extract resources; elites became knowledgeable about that which led to the creation of the African Union in 1963 and Economic Community of West African States in 1975.

Interestingly, whenever olympics games arise especially in other countries, all athletes from different parts of Nigeria persevere and bring the best in them just to keep the country proud and gladly they have been doing same for the past 61 years.

The country has a variety of renewable and non-renewable resources; some of which were discovered and extracted while others have not yet tapped.

Nigeria so far achieved alots and at the same time faced inevitable challenges but those challenges are like glue because they always make us stronger and inseparable.

There are high numbers of talented young Nigerians and professionals have invented several devices, machines that brought ease on the way tedious activities are done.

Jerry Isaac Mallo from Plateau State invented the first ‘Carbon Fibre’ sport car in Nigeria. Also, Doctor Samuel Achilefu used light-sensitive drugs for cancer detection, imaging, and its therapy.

Recently, Dr. Achilefu conceived and led the development of a novel wearable cancer viewing goggles for the accurate removal of cancer cells during surgery. In January, a car made by Auwal Hassan was showcased in Abuja by the Minister of Science and Technology Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; merrily, the materials used in making the car were locally metal scraps.

It is unarguably true that no country in the world can developed without encountering challenges on the path, Nigeria therefore is not an exception as corruption, misappropriation of public funds, electoral malpractices, insurgency and banditry have devastated its capacity and weakened its moral fortitude in the continent. 

Despite all these problems, Nigerians have countless reasons to live than to die for; basic education and school feeding are free and continuous, transports on roads and trains are safe and cheap, healthcare and vaccination against diseases are accessible and regular, electricity and tapping natural resources are uninterrupted and ceaseless, security of live and properties is improving everyday, etc.

The 61 years after independence is worth celebrating because amongst the Africa countries Nigeria has retained its relevance in innovations, entertainment, peace-keeping mission and is still serving as a nest for hatching young talents. Nigeria has not limited its peacekeeping role to West Africa alone, it has also been engaged for peace restoration in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia-Eritrea.

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The country also played the most important role in fighting apartheid in Southern Africa and supporting liberation movements on the continent.

The Southerners and Northerners had remained adamant in loving each other despite works of derailed few that fuel violence which God always destroys.

In the area of education, most students from South prefer to study in the North because they are given the courses they applied and felt like at home anywhere. God is wonderful for creating us to practice different religion, speaking different languages and cohabiting at different geographical locations but within same country, therefore it is pertinent upon all to tolerate one another and live mutually together for the national developments.

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