Friday, October 22, 2010

Nigeria: Remembering 50 Years of Independence

On 1 October 2010, the peoples of Nigeria and Africa reflected on the fifty years of struggle to create a society where humans can live in dignity. After five decades of leaders such as Sani Abacha, Ibrahim Babingida, Olusegun Obasanjo and other military men at the helm of government, the experiment of Nigeria has reached a new stage. From within the bowels of the society citizens are calling for a new relationship with each other, with other Africans and with the rest of humanity. Nigerians are slowly fashioning a new Pan African consciousness and this consciousness is most manifest in the arts, film, music, poetry, literature and other areas where the creativity of the people can flourish. These citizens of Africa proclaim their pride and seek to excel in all fields, whether in the areas of soccer, music, literature, and the creative arts or in the areas of spelling out the demands for social transformation. These calls for social transformation have been smothered by militarism, foreign oil companies, political careerists and international consultants who facilitate the theft of billions. If the society of South Africa was shaped by the anti-apartheid struggles from the period of the Freedom Charter, the Nigerian experiment has been shaped by the intensity of the anti-dictatorial/anti/militarist struggles. Traders, students, workers, intellectuals, real spiritual elders and patriotic business persons joined the anti-dictatorial struggles. In these long years, the working poor of Nigeria hold a special place in the fifty years of struggle. Oil bunkering and novel forms of theft ensured a form of politics that linked oil companies to politicians and ... Read more