Against all odds, I join my voice to that of other good spirited Nigerians to wish our beloved country a happy independence. Wow! 56 years has passed on since we struggled to break free from the shackles of colonialism. But at 56,it seems we are still held bondage by another form of “colonial masters”. At this critical period in Nigerian history we have become our own colonial masters who like the proverbial dog has eaten the bone hung on his neck. It is true that we are free from colonial masters with white skin colours but our fellow black skins continue to torment us more and soak us in abject poverty and penury. It is not an exaggeration that ever since we gained our independence on a platter of gold, it has been from one problem to another. We have not enjoyed genuine freedom or national prosperity. A quick glance at our daillies will reveal gory stories of tribalism, political instabilities, ethnic hatred, poor leadership, religious ignorance to mention but a few. These I must humbly submit is a failure on the path of both the so called military and democratic governments. Talking about religion, I dare say that the issue of prosperity Gospel is also taking a devastating turn in our country. Thanks to the so called economic inactivity (recession). While our neighbours are tapping into the next frontiers of technological innovations and advancements, some religious leaders fuel the problem more by encouraging their members to look up to “heaven” where God will continue raining down manna. What an insult to the African mind and intelligence! This sense of mediocrity and false religiosity has crept into our educational sector. A visit to most university campuses will show cases of immorality, strikes, poor and inefficient lecturers. This is why the issue of brain drain is increasingly sky rocketing even to our neighbouring countries like Ghana and South Africa. Whither NIGERIA at 56? Is thus a clarion call not just for celebration but more for stock taking. A call to use our compass to cross check whether we are on course or if we have lost our way as a nation. More than ever we are running late in our work of nation building. As we continue to wait for the transformation promised by the presence administration, we as a nation must not fail to play our own paths well. Everything must not be done by the government, the wealthy amongst us can use a little portion of their wealth to help the masses, we can also do better by shunning negative habits, disordeliness and fraud which does not necessarily come from the government. Ours is not to sit down and judge history. Yes, we must realize the mistakes of the past but we must strive earnestly to improve the present in order to better our tomorrow. We must not give up in our search for a healthy nation. We can disprove those who think that we are an utter disappointment or a light that refused to shine. Some analysts are of the view that at 56 we are the locus classicus of an injury not properly managed. But I Still believe that we have not defiled “pathological Genius”. There is still some potency. Hope still abounds despite our present state. Some years past, a dire prediction was made that Nigeria will soon disintegrate. The events that took place during the just concluded elections could have necessitated that. But here we are today still in one piece. We are not just victims of neo-colonialists/colonialists influences as some scholars would want us to believe. We are also victims of poverty of good leadership emanating from ourselves. The Apc’s mantra of change must note that we do not want any type of change except that which will reshape the future of our beloved country. The present administration has a lot to catch up with albeit there is no time. She must not loose sight of a proper articulation of a grand vision for the country so as to give her a deserving place in the global arena. At this age we are tired of pseudo promises and empty arguments. We cannot continue to apportion blames on the past regimes. Enough on emphasis on secondary issues and trivialities. One whose house is on fire does not chase rats! Let us take the bull at the horn to see how Nigeria with its rich and pluralistic nature can become a source and means of unification instead of division. May the labours of our heroes past never be in vain! Happy birthday Nigeria! God loves us!