This First of October marks the 52nd year since the then Nigerian Government of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa and Dr Obafemi Awolowo unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence–the document that separated the Nigerian citizen from British rule and led to the creation of a new federal republic.
Thanks to the vision of our Founding Fathers and the commitment of the courageous men and women who fought to win Nigerian independence, we inherit a legacy of freedom based on the idea that all people possess certain unalienable rights–to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness.
Our Nation’s early patriots deserve our enduring gratitude for their sacrifices on behalf of their fellow citizens. But we also owe a debt to the millions of Nigerians across the generations whosince have protected our democracy for more than five decades.
This includes most especially those Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen who made the ultimate sacrifice, have been captured, or otherwise remain missing in fighting for and helping to preserve our liberty. The families of our service members–past and present, and particularly of our wounded warriors–also have earned our thanks for their sacrifices.
This First Of October, let us recommit ourselves to doing all that we can to ensure that our children, our grandchildren, and the generations that follow will enjoy the freedoms that are our birthright as Nigerians.
It is Our Sincere belief, that we all, together, would pull through the challenges facing our Great Country, Tapping from the words of Luther king, I believe that, One day:
The Nigerian Youths will learn words they will not understand,
Children from Kastina will ask: “What is hunger?”
Children from Owerri will ask: “What is Tribal Discrimination?”
Children from Maiduguri will ask: “What is the suicide bomb?”
Children at school will ask: “What is war?”
We will answer them, you will tell them: “Those are words not used any more,
Like ‘stage-coaches’, ‘galleys’ or ‘slavery’,
Words no longer meaningful,
That is why they have been removed from dictionaries.”
VNTI Nigeria salute Nigerians and their service, our flag, and the Federal Republic Of Nigeria; and we wish to you a safe and happy Independence Day.
OBASI CHINEDU DAVID
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