Happy Independence Day to us all. Independence was about change. Change from being ‘proud to serve our sovereign motherland’ to ‘serve our fatherland with love and strength and faith’. 56 years after independence and the only thing we are sure of is that, we have not served our fatherland in any manner of love and strength and faith. We have rather taken a hammer and chisel to dismantle all civil society and have erected graven images to the gods of gluttony, greed, avarice, thievery, hubris and inhumanity. We have retreated, each, to our sacred corners of tribe and religion in our father’s mansion, and no longer share and eat at one table. The brotherhood that we inherited has been torn apart and shredded into bits and pieces, and strewn about the four corners of the earth. Internecine bickering, squabbles, pogroms and wars rule the day. Was this the vision of our national fathers, the Balewas, the Awo’s and the Ziks? Did they, in all their nationalistic fervour, ever imagine that we’d be where we are now? I’m sure that they had envisioned a civilization at par with the most progressive and even superior to those that had hitherto oppressed us. We should be celebrating but, rather, we are mourning and even revelling in the morbid orgy that mourning has become. Green for Agriculture and White for peace? What I see is a tarry black for the Green and a blood red for the White: Oil and Bloody Violence, now our most prominent natural resources. And not to forget, add a picture of a note US$1000 to that flag to represent our lust for all things foreign and our olympian greed.

But I’ll not mourn. I’ll continue to water at the eternal springs of hope. I’ll continue to dream of a day when the madness will be over. So, nothing will diminish my celebrations on this day of thanksgiving.

Happy Independence day!