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Youths, History And National Day Celebration

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Every 1st October is Nigeria’s official Independence Day National holiday.It marks Nigeria’s proclamation of independence from British rule on 1st October, 1960.
In 1914,the Southern Nigeria Protectorate was combined with the Northern Protectorate to create the colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.By the late 1950’s the call for independence led to the country being granted independence on 1st October, 1960 as the Federation of Nigeria.The country received it’s Freedom Charter on this day.
The holiday is celebrated annually by the government and people of Nigeria.There are also celebrations across all sectors in Nigeria including the Diaspora. It is a day of celebration for the old and the young.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria, also known as the “Giant of Africa”, is a West African country bordered by Niger,Chad,Cameroon and Benin.It enjoys direct access to the Atlantic Ocean on its Southern border.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and ranks seventh in the world with over 210 million inhabitants. It also has the third largest youth population in the world with almost half of the people being under the age of eighteen, thereby making the realisation of children rights a crucial point.
Nigeria’s uniqueness is due to having over 250 ethnic groups,speaking too distinct languages.Therefore, British legacy and practical considerations established “English” as the official language.
Nigeria which is on the Gulf of Guinea has many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves.Protected areas such as Cross River Natural Park,Port Harcourt, Bonny Nature Park and Yankari National Park,with dense rain,Savannah and rare primate habitats.One recognisable sites is the Zuma Rock,a 725m tall monolith outside the capital of Abuja.
The Nigerian economy is one of the largest in Africa. Since the 1960’s,it has been based primarily on the petroleum industry with 90% of Nigeria’s oil and gas from the Niger Delta region. A series of world oil price increased from 1973 produced rapid economic growth in transportation, construction, manufacturing and government services. This however, led to great influx of rural people into urban centres,thereby agricultural production stagnated to such a point that cash crops such as palm oil,groundnuts,cocoa,cotton were not longer export commodities. Although much of the population remained in farming, too little food was produced.
Environmental deterioration, inferior storage of facilities, poor transport system and lack of investment capital contributed to low productivity and general stagnation in agriculture.
Today,1st October, 2021 is another day of national celebration.The children and youths celebrate the day by performing ceremonial march past in their various state capitals and local government areas .
The question that agitates the mind is,what do our children and young people as future leaders of Nigeria know about their country?From investigation,most young people do not know the history of Nigeria.After reciting the Nigerian anthem and pledge,what else do our young people know about Nigeria?This is important because every Nigerian child should know the foundation of Nigeria ,our founding fathers,how Nigeria gained her indepedence,they should know our founding fathers laboured to liberate Nigeria from colonization,the consciousness behind the fight for freedom and later the love for our country Nigeria.This is important because they were born as Nigerians and they should love their country,despite the odds.
Educating and sharing basic knowledge about Nigeria to young people is key and crucial.With the world becoming a global village and the introduction of high technology,our children and young people seem to be losing touch with our history, culture and identity. Our young people now associate with western names,clothes,football etc. Our history and identity which our founding fathers fought for is gradually fading away. This is a problem that must be tackled now before it gets too late. It is a well known fact that history is an important gift which the older ones must give or pass on to the younger generation. Without history, a person may not understand his or her root. Ancient cultures had devoted much time and effort to teach their children family history . It was taught that the past helps a child understand who he or she is. However, modern trends in Nigeria has turned its back on the past,our culture and identity. We live in a time of “rush rush”.We prefer to think and embrace in terms of where we are going to, not where we come from. Our root and ancestors mean nothing to us. We see our past as outdated and meaningless.
This is worrisome because history matters. It will definitely help our young ones to understand why our society is the way It is and what can be done in future.
It is for this reason that the reintroduction of history as a teaching subject in schools by the federal government remains a welcome development . Removing history from the curriculum, was a misjudgement. it remains unthinkable why children would be raised in the dark without knowledge about their past.
A constellation of historical facts, concoetion of geography, civics (current affairs)in the name of social studies which came with the introduction of the 6-3-3-4 school system under a new National Policy in Education by the military government,lead to a gradual phasing out of history.
However,Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu , a few years ago, while addressing delegates of the 61st meeting of the National Council on Education Ministerial Session called for the disarticulation of social studies in the current curriculum of basic schools and reintroduction of history as a subject. This was as a result of persistent pressure from the Historical Society of Nigeria.
The reintroduction of history gave the Nigerian child self – identity of who he or she really is. It is only the study of history that can give meaning to our humanity. Without history,our future leaders are denied intial pieces of information and knowledge of the foundation of their country or state. This, perphaps explains why most young people ,especially from their discussions in social media show less affinity with their country. Young people can hardly defend a country they hardly know anything about .
It is believed that the experiences we are having today were likely shaped by past events we have been through. Looking at the past and working at it helps ensure that bad history does not repeat itself. The past must be looked at to learn from it.
In addition to our history,national identity and love for our nation must be symbolic in our children and young ones. From various studies,it was found that children are able to talk about their membership of their own national group by 5 years of age. Also,the importance which children attribute to their national identity increases significantly between 5 and 11 years of age,it is left for our teachers,parents and guardians to impact positively on the young ones concerning our national identity. According to Billing,1995,national identity is imbued in everyday family practice and as such is much more likely to be affiliative and centred in belonging rather than actively claimed. Barrett,2013,however argued that young people are intiated into their national identity by their parents. Through everyday activities, parents may indicate to their children what it meant to be a part of the National group. Therefore, the older Nigerians must teach the younger ones the country’s historical and cultural traditions, moral values,ideals and national soverngnity . These characteristics will help plan an important role in empowering the young ones to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in a modern society . The saying, “never forget where you come from ” should be the watch word for our future leaders to build on . Their origin is Nigerian,no two ways. They must love their country and make things right for the better.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

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Nigeria Of Our Dream

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As Nigeria approaches the 2023 elections, children in Rivers State have been baring their minds in The Tide on what they expect in Nigeria and their leaders from 2023, and their advice to other children.

 

Nigeria Needs Good Leaders – Alice Godwin Udoh (SS1)
For my country Nigeria, I wish for good and considerate leaders that have the fear of God, good schools with equipment and good roads. Also, law- abiding citizens and peace everywhere in the country.
My advice to children is that, they should always put God first in all they do. They should respect their elders,obey their parents and teachers and always live in peace with others.

 

ASUU Strike Should Not Happen Again – Oluwole Anointed (SS2)
My dream for Nigeria is that there should be free education for children and scholarships for students that deserve it.I wish that ASUU strike should not happen again. Let this be the last.
Government should help the less-previledged and defend the rights of the poor.
All children should try their best to make their parents, families and nation proud.

 

I Want A Corruption-Free Nigeria – Virtue Ayomide Lawal (SS2)
I dream of a new Nigeria rising like a plumule of a lily from the myriad of corruption, inhumanity, insecurity and insincerity. I crave for a Nigeria,where justice takes the centre stage, also love and tolerance with leaders seeking first the interest of the citizenry.
I also dream of a Nigeria where I can sleep  with my eyes closed, travel round without fear, stand and express my talents and show the world how gifted I am as a Nigerian.
A Nigeria with the air in the North, South, East and West blowing fresh fragrance of oneness, not the smell of blood. A great black kingdom of power knitted in unity. A nation with an army of gallant leaders paving the paths of greatness for their children and generations yet unborn. A birth of a new Nigeria.
To Nigerian children, do not lose hope. Better days will return, do not write off this nation, do not abandon it, do your little bit,get to know your history. Begin the change with yourself. Share, spark and ignite the fire of positive change into others around you in school, places of worship and communities. Together, we shall build a nation where peace and justice shall reign again.

 

Government Should  Try And Eradicate Poverty – Benjamin Charles  (SS 1)
I dream of a Nigeria in good condition. A country where more than half of the population is not held down by poverty. A country where hardwork provides results regardless of proximity of political powers and wealth, where every graduate will have good jobs waiting for him or her after graduation.
I believe in my dream, hoping for good governance in our country and effective changes in our economic system. When these are achieved, we as children will have a country to be proud of.
As Nigerian children, our dreams would involve driving structural foundation and transformational reforms that will serve to integrate us as a country from the Sambisa Forest of the North to the Fishing Port of the South, down to the Plantain Plantation of the West and finally to the Ricemills of the East.

 

I Want Employment For Nigerian Youths – Ruth Sokari Siyeofori  (SS 2)
I dream of a Nigeria where youths will be employed so that all these kidnappings, stealing, robbery, bunkering and cultism will stop. I wish that the discrimination against the poor will stop. The government should stop giving the people false hopes but provide good roads, railways, functional hospitals and good potable water.
I wish for good leadership and governance in my country, Nigeria.
My advice to children all over the world is to be respectful to their parents, elders and religious leaders.
We as children should learn to be grateful in all situations because better days are ahead of us. We should also be focused on our education so as to make not only our parents proud but the society at large.

 

Nigeria Needs A Roadmap For Sustainable Growth-  Perfect Eric (SS1)
I want a Nigeria where youths are given the chance to chart a roadmap that outlines a future that works for the good of the citizens, a roadmap that will put the country on the path of development, and make it a place where opportunities abound.
I visualise a Nigeria  where vibrant railway network forms an integral part of our transportation system because a lot of pressure would be taken off our roads thereby making them last longer. A vibrant rail system is important for us as a country  because most cargoes will be transported  by rail. Our political leaders  must strive to ensure that there is security of lives and property  and do whatever it takes to end terrorism, insurgency perpetrated by Boko Haram and other such groups.
I dream of a country where corruption  is checkmated to address the rising scourge of poverty in the country. The current unemployment rate is mind- boggling. So, I dream of a country where jobs will be available for every qualified youth.
I wish government at all levels to find solutions to our pressing challenges, including unemployment which has made many graduates remain jobless after graduation. Put differently, the massive unemployment in the land is part of the reason why many youths consider  acquiring western education as a waste  of time and resources.
Finally, as the country marked her 62nd Independence anniversary on Saturday, October 1, I would like to charge the Federal Government to do all it takes to meet our  expectations as well as create an environment where our dreams can come to fruition and all children  from all walks of life can be proud citizens of Nigeria and boast of her achievements. If we all pull our resources together, we can make Nigeria great again .

 

I Look Forward To Nigeria’s Unity- Ndieze John Paul (JSS2)
My dream for Nigeria is that of equality and unity as a nation. I have a dream that one day, Christians, Muslims, the rich, poor, clean, unclean, able, disabled, male, female shall sit together side by side in brotherhood to pray, work, play and eat.
My hope is for this great nation, Nigeria, our great motherland to be bound in unity, faith, peace, love and progress  for therein lies our motto.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

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Nigeria Of Our Dream

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Last month, May 27th, Nigeria celebrated Children’s
Day.The Tide spoke with some children that talked about their  dreams,wishes for Nigeria and advise to other children. Here are their views.

 

Nigeria Needs Good Leaders – Alice Godwin Udoh (SS1)
For my country Nigeria, I wish for good and considerate leaders that have the fear of God, good schools with equipment and good roads. Also, law abiding citizens and peace everywhere in the country.
My advise to children is that, they should always put God first in all they do. They should respect their elders,obey their parents and teachers and always live in peace with others.

 

ASUU Strike Should Not Happen Again – Oluwole Anointed (SS2)
My dream of Nigeria is that there should be free education for children and scholarships for students that deserve it.I wish that ASUU strike should not happen again. Let this be the last.
Government should help the less-previledged and defend the rights of the poor.
All children should try their best to make their parents, family and nation proud.

 

I Want A Corruption-free Nigeria – Virtue Ayomide Lawal (SS2)
I dream of a new Nigeria rising like a plumule of a lily from the myriad of corruption, inhumanity, insecurity and insincerity. I crave for a Nigeria,where justice takes the centre stage, also love and tolerance with leaders seeking first the interest of the citizenry.
I also dream of a Nigeria where I can sleep  with my eyes closed, travel round without fear, stand and express my talents and show the world how gifted I am as a Nigerian.
A Nigeria with the air in the North, South, East and West breezing fresh fragrance of oneness, not the smell of blood. A great black kingdom of power knitted in unity. A nation with an army of gallant leaders paving paths of greatness for their children and generations yet unborn. A birth of a new Nigeria.
To Nigerian children, don’t lose hope. Better days will return, don’t write off this nation, don’t abandon it, do your little bit,get to know your history. Begin the change with yourself. Share, spark and ignite the fire of positive change into others around you in school, places of worship and communities. Together, we shall build a nation where peace and justice shall reign again.

 

Govt Should  Try And Eradicate Poverty – Benjamin Charles  (SS 1)
I dream of a Nigeria in good condition. A country where more than half of the population is not held down by poverty. A country where hardwork provide results regardless of proximity of political powers and wealth, where every graduate will have good jobs waiting for them after graduation.
I believe in my dream, hoping for good governance in our country and effective changes in our economic system. When these are achieved, we as children will have a country to be proud of.
As Nigerian children, our dreams would involve driving structural foundation and transformational reforms that will serve to integrate us as a country from the Sambisa Forest of the North to the Fishing Port of the South, down to the Plantain Plantation of the West and finally to the Ricemills of the East.

 

I Want Employment For Nigerian Youths – Ruth Sokari Siyeofori  (SS 2)
I dream of a Nigeria where youths will be employed so all these kidnappings, stealing, robbery, bunkering and cultism will stop. I wish that the discrimination against the poor will stop. The government should stop giving the people false hopes but provide good roads, railways, functional hospitals and good potable water.
I wish for good leadership and governance in my country, Nigeria.
My advice to children all over the world is to be respectful to their parents, elders and religious leaders.
We as children should learn to be grateful in all situations because better days are ahead of us. We should also be focused on our education so as to make not only our parents proud but the society at large.

 

Nigeria Needs A Roadmap For Sustainable Growth-  Perfect Eric (SS1)
I want a Nigeria where youths are given the chance to chart a roadmap that outlines a future that works for the good of the citizens, a roadmap that will put the country on the path of development, and make it a place where opportunities abound.
I visualise a Nigeria  where vibrant railway network forms an integral part of our transportation system because a lot of pressure would be taken off our roads thereby making them last longer. A vibrant rail system is important for us as a country  because most cargoes will be transported  by rail. Our political leaders  must strive to ensure that there is security of lives and property  and do whatever it takes to end terrorism, insurgency perpetrated by Boko Haram and other such groups.
I dream of a country where corruption  is checkmated to address the rising scourge of poverty in the country. The current unemployment rate is mind boggling. So, I dream of a country where jobs will be available for every qualified youth.
I wish government at all levels to find solutions to our pressing challenges, including unemployment which has made many graduates remain jobless after graduation. Put differently, the massive unemployment in the land is part of the reason why many youths consider  acquiring Western education as a waste  of time and resources.
Finally, as the country marked her 62nd Independence anniversary on Saturday October 1, I would like to charge the federal government to do all it takes to meet our  expectations as well as create an environment where our dreams can come to fruition and all children  from all walks of life can be proud citizens of Nigeria and boast of her achievement. If we all pull our resources together, we can make Nigeria great again .

 

I Look Forward To Nigeria’s Unity- Ndieze John Paul (JSS2)
My dream for Nigeria is that of equality and unity as a nation. I have a dream that one day Christians, Muslims, the rich, poor, clean, unclean, able, disabled, male, female shall sit together side by side in brotherhood to pray, work, play and eat.
My hope is for this great nation, Nigeria, our great motherland to be bound in unity, faith, peace, love and progress  for therein lies our motto.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

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How You Go Forward Is Your Responsibility 

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What happened to you was not fair. You were merely a collateral damage on someone else’s war path, an innocent bystander, who got wrecked out of proximity.
We are all hurt by life, some of us from egregious wrongdoings, others by unprocessed pain and sidelined emotions. No matter the source, we are all handed a play of cards, and sometimes, they are not a winning hand.
Yet what we cannot forget is that even when we are not at fault, healing in the aftermath will always fall on us and instead of being burdened by this, we can actually learn to see it as a rare gift.
Healing is our responsibility because, if it is not an unfair circumstance it becomes an unlived life.
Healing is our responsibility because unprocessed pain gets transferred to everyone around us, and we are not going to allow what someone else did to us to become what we do to those we love.
Healing is our responsibility because we have this one life, this single shot to do something important.
Healing is our responsibility because if we want our lives to be different, sitting and waiting for someone else to make them so, will not actually change them. It will only make us dependent and bitter.
Healing is our responsibility because we have the power to heal ourselves, even if we have previously been led to believe we do not.
Healing is our responsibility because we are uncomfortable, and discomfort almost always signals a place in life in which we are slated to rise up and transform.
Healing is our responsibility because every great person you deeply admire began with every odd against them, and learned their inner power which had no match for the worst of what life could offer.
Healing is our responsibility because “healing” is actually not returning to how and who we were before, it is becoming someone we have never been, someone stronger, someone wiser, someone kinder.
When we heal, we step into the people we have always wanted to be. We also are not only able to metabolise the pain, we are able to effect real change in our lives, in our families, and in our communities. We are able to pursue our dreams more freely. We are able to handle whatever life throws at us, because we are self-efficient and assured. We are more willing to dare, risk, and dream of broader horizons, ones we never thought we would reach.
The thing is that when someone else does something wrong and it affects us, we often sit around waiting for them to take the pain away, as though they could come along and undo what has been done.
We fail to realise that in that hurt, we had the most important lessons of our lives and the fertile breeding ground upon which we can start to build everything we really want.
We are not meant to get through life unscathed.
We are not meant to get to the finish line unscarred, clean and bored.
Life hurts us all in different ways, but it is how we respond and who we become that determine whether a trauma becomes a tragedy, or the beginning of the story of how the victim became the hero.
Culled from January Nelson.

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