October 1, 1960, a significant day in the history of Nigeria. Before this day, the indigenous people of Nigeria called for independence from British colonial rule, between 1922 and 1959. Notable Nigerians like Sir Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Anthony Enahoro, to mention a few, led the struggle for Nigeria’s Nationalism.
The struggle later bore fruit on October 27, 1958, when Britain agreed to make Nigeria an independent state and by 1st October, 1960, Nigeria was declared independent. Ever since, every 1st of October is celebrated as Nigeria’s Independence Day.
All Nigerians look forward to the independence day celebration. From the live speeches of the president on television and radio to the spectacular cultural dances and songs performed by the students from different states, family gathering, organized parties and shows, seminars, campaigns, most importantly the public holiday that comes with celebrating this great country, gives everyone the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of this great nation. Although some do not participate in its independence, because the country is in dire poverty, some feel there is nothing to celebrate if the country is still years behind the rest of the world; no adequate infrastructure, electricity, housing, work, income, education, proper medical attention and a host of endless list.
Nevertheless, Nigerians home and abroad marked the 59 years anniversary in different styles, of which DSIGATE wasn’t left out. To recognize the day, DSIGATE collaborated with SHUN EMPLOYMENT FOUNDATION to engage in an empowerment campaign walk tagged, “IBADAN ARE YOU TEN?” It is an empowerment campaign designed to create awareness for youth empowerment. The TEN represents Trained, Empowered and Nurtured. The aim of the walk is to reduce the rate of unemployment and provide the needed opportunity for youths and unemployed in Ibadan by providing free training and/or enrolment to few participants after the walk.
The walk kicked-off from Cocoa House, Ibadan through Oke-Ado, Liberty Way and finished at Palms Mall, Ringroad, Ibadan. The celebration had individuals from different corners of our society participate especially the youths including students, graduates, serving corp members, medical personnel, security personnel, media houses and some others. The walk featured notable brands like Access Bank, Leadway Pensure, Bank of Industry, AIT, Uniplan Integrated, Name Foundation, Daraju Industries, Ibadan Pride, Paul Alasiri, Insight Oyo, and many others….
It is the truth to say that Nigeria is a great country, yes, we are richly blessed with resources and amenities, we are almost everywhere in the world, our movies, our music, leading innovations, large economy, significant locations, center of tourism, oil wealth, agricultural pride and a host of other natural and artificial blessings. But it will not be false to say that even in the midst of these riches, we still lag behind in a number of things, say corruption, poverty, energy supply, security, orderliness, health, and most especially unemployment.
Every institution produces hundreds to thousands of graduates yearly, increasing the labour market weight but there are no jobs for them, it is almost interpreted that four, five, six years in school is a waste, though it is not. So, the big question is ‘What is the way out?’
As much as this is a primary function of the government, it is not so wise to wait on the present day government to provide employment for all, which is why there’s the need for every unemployed, in fact, the already employed to learn and master a skill, be it vocational or soft skill, thus becoming self-employed. Well, it is the nation’s independence we’re celebrating, but the bigger independence to be celebrated is personal independence, it is so important to have that independence, you know it yourself and to find yourself, you have to think for yourself, which is believed to be the most courageous act.
So as we reminisce on our nation’s independence, we all should remember that true independence and freedom can only exist in doing what is right!
Happy Independence Nigeria…..