So as we reach another milestone in our journey as a nation, the Legal Assistance and Citizens Rights Initiative(LACRI), salute the spirit of the Nigerian people who persevere against all hardship. Today, we must celebrate human rights and freedom. Freedom of thoughts, freedom to hold opinion, freedom to speak, freedom to associate, freedom to move around and many more. As we insist on our freedom, we must also recognise that these rights are not unique to us but universal. Part of the ideals for a great country is the protection of the weak and vulnerable. Let’s recommit ourselves to fight against ills and ensure we live in freedom and safety. Let us remember those who have faced persecution in the quest for Citizens Rights, the tough conditions they endured and the difficult journey they embarked on.
Sixty-one years ago, Nigeria unfurled its own flag and sang its own very song. The flag was simple in its design, a triumph of minimalist art, two colours steeped in the symbolism of peace, purity and fertility. Our anthem and victory song was like living symphony carrying with it the aspirations of a hopeful people. We were a tribe of proud survivors tested in the forge of decades of slavery, and purified by undying thirst to make it on our own. The torch bearers of a new Africa were set to prove a point to the whole world that there was nothing wrong with the black skin.
It has been 61 years of building the Nigerian dream. Sixty-one years of dreaming the true Nigerian dream. In this journey to nationhood, we have fought wars, passed through strife, suffered the pangs of hunger, lived the nightmare of intolerance, and suffered the wounds of misrule. But there were rare times when we spoke with one voice reminding us of how magnificent we could have been or how magnificent we could still be.
This is a country of possibilities where the differences in tongue or culture only adds to the vibrant colours we paint. This is a country of infinite prospects, where the soil is warm and fertile and weather clement. This is a country of potentials where each hamlet, each nook and cranny holds an array of human treasures. This is a land of great artists and of brilliant minds in every possible field of human endeavour.