October 1st: It's Independence Day In My Country, Nigeria

Freedom from Independence! 

Olayinka Oshidipe | Unsplash


Sighs!

The launch of an e-naira, in a country that tried to ban cryptocurrencies some months back; the Igbos agitating for their own country, threatening a shutdown of the nation if their request is not made; the Yoruba's too, they also want their freedom. And the federal government declares that October 1st is a public holiday, a free day of no work; of rest.

Nigeria is 61 years today. She has grown old, aged graciously, amid the torture & pain, while abundance lurks in the deep coffers of a very few Nigerians.

This is not a political essay. It doesn't even qualify to be called one. If you remember in my opening essay. that launched ''Unbounded'' [this private newsletter], I promised that I was going to write about anything & everything on ''Unbounded.'' 

This is how it's going to look like: Through Unbounded, I want to bring all my writings under one roof, as I wrote in the introductory essay. And on independence day; is the day that formally ushers in my first essay on ''Unbounded.''

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Dolapo Ayoade | Unsplash


Yes, I know that most of my readers are Nigerians [more of young healthcare professionals], though I have also recently observed that more of my readers [of my essays/articles on Care City & Apotheosis, where I follow the statistics closely] are coming from the United States of America, and my writing has heavily focused on Nigeria & Africa [I can't write about Americans, what do I know about Biden's people?] Whether I am writing about Innovation, leadership, digital health, or society, or even a poem.  

And I am writing this essay to all Nigerians, here, and the diaspora. I want them to believe in the Nigerian dream [I know it's hard to.] I don't want them to give up or get weary believing in a reality that almost looks impossible to materialize.

Have our leaders failed us? Lol! That's no longer a new saying. It's like an anthem here. The failure of the leadership here in Nigeria sounds like Afro or Fuji to the ears of the average Nigerian. 

They have accepted the leaders the way they are, and unfortunately, this isn't a good disposition that the ideals of a young generation should be built on, but what can they do? When the leadership makes caricatures of the people by tossing shit directly at the face of people who they lead. 

We grew up disliking the Nigerian leadership. We grew up confused, not understanding what was even going on. Some of us were shielded from harsh weather because our parents worked hard [and had good education], but what about those other young Nigerians who go through real hardship? 

Every day, Nigerians move out in droves! It's a massive exodus. The people are running away from their country like Bees flying out of a beehive on fire

Is the country not on fire? And unfortunately, there is no water to quench this fire. Reminds me of the song ''Daddy Showkey'' sang some years ago, I was just, but a boy when I first heard that song from the Galala crooner - "Fire! Fire! Inna my country country, give me plenty water, make I quench the fire!" Great song, sung by a wonderful man [some of you, who are older should know him & that song.] Listen to that song here.

Nigeria has been on fire, but this is not an essay that tries to explain the origin or nature of the fire that we are trying to quench, but it is trying to keep hope alive in the heart of Nigerians.

Many have given up. For some, their hope hangs onto the thin thread of having families still in Nigeria, if they manage to leave the country [is that hope?] It's the dream of the average Nigerian to see himself or herself one day standing in the airport in the United Kingdom or Canada - free at last; free from an expensive democracy; free from independence. But to some, this is a lofty one, they have no choice but to remain.

Every day on Twitter, in my ecosystem of healthcare professionals, you will always see someone who posts their picture as they depart, smiling with heavy relief, as they upload their pictures in Oxford [or somewhere in Europe], with the glistering & glistening background of a country that works, sparkling at the backdrop, you may even see one or two 'Oyibo' people at the background [I know they do it intentionally to feature the white folks at the background, to make their testimony more solid to those who are seeing or want to doubt their new location.]

I am trying so hard to ignite hope in your heart, but with every word & sentence, it's almost obvious that I am doing a bad job here, instead, I might be making you feel really bad, asking yourself how you became a Nigerian.

I also want to leave the country. Sincerely, most times I also feel the heat. I feel the frustration. When I work with my fellow nurses at work, I can almost touch it, that desperation, that desire for fresh air and freedom. Hardly will you come across a healthcare professional today in Nigeria who is not planning on leaving the country. And the leadership of the great country is oblivious to this painful reality.

Almost always, when I write about Nigeria, I feel this frisson [a funny mixture of excitement & anxiety.] Where it comes from, I can't say. Maybe it's due to the kind of importance I place on topics or themes like it. Or it could be due to something else, or maybe a; "why in the world am I bothering myself writing about Nigeria?" kind of feeling.  

I hope I have not bored you with this many words? I plead, permit it to be so, as we together celebrate the independence of a country that has never been free. 

Thank you, catch you soon...


I wrote a series of short essays titled: Nigeria My Country. You can read them on Apotheosis. And if you would like to read some of my other works, you can check Care City's Blog [there's some stuff on the topics of healthcare innovation, mentorship, leadership, digital health & more.] 

Thank you, again...