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1960 Independence Day speech by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Nigeria’s first prime minister

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1960 Independence Day speech by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Nigeria’s first prime minister
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1960 Independence Day speech by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Nigeria’s first prime minister

Today is Independence Day. The first of October 1960 is a date to which for two years every Nigerian has been eagerly looking forward. At last, our great day has arrived, and Nigeria is now indeed an independent sovereign nation.
Words cannot adequately express my joy and pride at being the Nigerian citizen privileged to accept from Her Royal Highness these Constitutional Instruments which are the symbols of Nigeria’s Independence. It is a unique privilege which I shall remember forever, and it gives me strength and courage as I dedicate my life to the service of our country.

This is a wonderful day, and it is all the more wonderful because we have awaited it with increasing impatience, compelled to watch one country after another overtaking us on the road when we had so nearly reached our goal. But now we have acquired our rightful status, and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well-built upon firm foundations.

Today’s ceremony marks the culmination of a process, which began 15 years ago and has now reached a happy and successful conclusion. It is with justifiable pride that we claim the achievement of our Independence to be unparallelled in the annals of history. Each step of our constitutional advance has been purposefully and peacefully planned with full and open consultation, not only between representatives of all the various interests in Nigeria but in harmonious cooperation with the administering power which has today relinquished its authority.
At the time when our constitutional development entered upon its final phase, the emphasis was largely upon self-government. We, the elected representatives of the people of Nigeria, concentrated on proving that we were fully capable of managing our own affairs both internally and as a nation. However, we were not to be allowed the selfish luxury of focusing our interest in our own homes. In these days of rapid communications, we cannot live in isolation, apart from the rest of the world, even if we wished to do so. All too soon it has become evident that for us Independence implies a great deal more than self-government. This great country, which has now emerged without bitterness or bloodshed, finds that she must at once be ready to deal with grave international issues.

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1960 Independence Day speech by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Nigeria’s first prime minister

This fact has of recent months been unhappily emphasised by the startling events which have occurred in this continent. I shall not labour the point but it would be unrealistic not to draw attention first to the awe-inspiring task confronting us at the very start of our nationhood. When this day in October 1960 was chosen for our Independence it seemed that we were destined to move with quiet dignity to place on the world stage. Recent events have changed the scene beyond recognition, so that we find ourselves today being tested to the utmost We are called upon immediately to show that our claims to the responsible government are well-founded, and having been accepted as an independent state we must at once play an active part in maintaining the peace of the world and in preserving civilisation. I promise you, we shall not fail for want of determination.

And we come to this task better-equipped than many. For this, I pay tribute to the manner in which successive British governments have gradually transferred the burden of responsibility to our shoulders. The assistance and unfailing encouragement which we have received from each Secretary of State for the Colonies and their intense personal interest in our development has immeasurably lightened that burden.

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All our friends in the Colonial Office must today be proud of their handiwork and in the knowledge that they have helped to lay the foundations of a lasting friendship between our two nations. I have indeed every confidence that, based on the happy experience of a successful partnership, our future relations with the United Kingdom will be more cordial than ever, bound together, as we shall be in the Commonwealth, by a common allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, whom today we proudly acclaim as Queen of Nigeria and Head of the Commonwealth.

Time will not permit the individual mention of all those friends, many of them Nigerians, whose selfless labours have contributed to our Independence. Some have not lived to see the fulfilment of their hopes on them be peace, “but nevertheless they are remembered here, and the names of buildings and streets and roads and bridges throughout the country recall to our minds their achievements, some of them on a national scale. Others confined, perhaps, to a small area in one Division, are more humble but of equal value in the sum-total.

Today, we have with us representatives of those who have made Nigeria: Representatives of the Regional Governments, of former Central Governments, of the Missionary Societies, and of the Banking and Commercial enterprises, and members, both past and present, of the Public Service. We welcome you, and we rejoice that you have been able to come and share in our celebrations. We wish that it could have been possible for all of those whom you represent to be here today: Many, I know, will be disappointed to be absent, but if they are listening to me now, I say to them, “Thank you on behalf of my Thank you for your devoted service, which helped build Nigeria into a nation. Today we are reaping the harvest which you sowed, and the quality of the harvest is equalled only by our gratitude to you. May God bless you all.

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This is an occasion when our hearts are filled with conflicting emotions: we are, indeed, proud to have achieved our independence, and proud that our efforts should have contributed to this happy event. But do not mistake our pride for arrogance. It is tempered by feelings of sincere gratitude to all who have shared in the task of developing Nigeria politically, socially and economically. We are grateful to the British officers whom we have known, first as masters, and then as leaders, and finally as partners, but always as friends. And there have been countless missionaries who have laboured unceasingly in the cause of education and to whom we owe many of our medical services. We are grateful also to those who have brought modern methods of banking and of commerce, and new industries. I wish to pay tribute to all of these people and to declare our everlasting admiration of their devotion to duty.

And, finally, I must express our gratitude to Her Royal Highness the Princess Alexandra of Kent for personally bringing to us these symbols of our freedom, and especially for delivering the gracious message from Her Majesty The Queen. And so, with the words “God save our Queen”, I open a new chapter in the history of Nigeria, and of the Commonwealth, and indeed of the world.

• Balewa, Nigeria’s first prime minister, delivered this speech on October 1, 1960

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Police release 7 Boko Haram suspects after three-year unlawful detention

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Police release 7 Boko Haram suspects after three-year unlawful detention
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Police release 7 Boko Haram suspects after three-year unlawful detention

Respite has finally come the way of the alleged Maiduguri-based Boko Haram suspects following their release on Tuesday in Abuja after spending over three years in police detention.

The seven detainees were set free on the order of a Federal High Court in Abuja issued on December 1 by Justice Modupe Olajuwon.

Their release comes exactly seven days after the court order was issued.

Their lawyer, Peter Abbo, who filed and argued a fundamental human rights enforcement suit on their behalf, confirmed their release to our correspondent.

Justice Olajuwon had on December 1 in a judgment ordered police to pay the sum of N15 million to the seven over their unlawful detention for three years without trial.

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The suspects, who were said to have been arrested inside a Maiduguri market, were allegedly dumped at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) detention facility at Abbatoir in Abuja.

Justice Olajuwon, in the judgment on their fundamental human rights enforcement suit, had held that the detention of the men for three years without trial contravened the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

The judge had said that the police acted in bad faith in keeping the detainees beyond the period required by law especially when there was no cogent and verifiable ground of indictment of the applicants for any offence.

Justice Olajuwon, while holding that the detention was illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, consequently ordered that the seven applicants be released forthwith to their families.

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Police release 7 Boko Haram suspects after three-year unlawful detention

The judge ordered that each applicant be paid a sum of N2 million as damages for their unlawful detention and another N1 million as the cost of litigation that brought about the judgment.

Counsel to the applicants, Aboh, while confirming the release, told our correspondent that the detainees have just been handed over to him and that they are eager to go back to Maiduguri to reunite with their families after three years of separation.

“As I am talking to you, the seven detainees are here with me having just been released on the order of the federal high court in Abuja issued on December 1.

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“Though their detention is arbitrary, unjust and unlawful, they are still happy that police complied with the order of the court and they are in high spirits seeking to travel immediately to Maiduguri where they were arrested,” he said.

He insisted that the detainees were unjustly labelled as Boko Haram suspects by police to justify the unlawful detention.

The lawyer had earlier told journalists that an Abuja based non-governmental organization, Dayspring Life Foundation, stumbled on the detainees and took over the sponsorship of the litigation to rescue them from the claws of police and unlawful detention.

The applicants are Ajiri Bulama Dungus, Gudja Giddah, Adam Mohammed, Wardi Dungus, Fanami Mustapha, Mohammed Abba and Makinka Alhaji Dungus.

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‘What has happened has happened,’ Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu’s ‘walk of peace’

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'What has happened has happened,' Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu's 'walk of peace'
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‘What has happened has happened,’ Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu’s ‘walk of peace’

The Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide, Yaba District Headquarters (Ogo Serafu), has thrown its support on the Peace Walk planned by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Chairman of the church’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Special Apostle Samuel Sogunro, gave the support on behalf of the church, during a news conference at the church’s headquarters in Ijeshatedo.

Sanwo-Olu had on November 30 called on the youths and other stakeholders to join him on Peace Walk, for healing of Lagos State, after the disturbances that trailed the 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality.

The news conference was to announce the 50th Anniversary of the church, the Cathedral Dedication and its 51st Harvest Thanksgiving.

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Sogunro, a former Rector of the Lagos State Polytechnic, said that what had happened was irreversible, but all had to come together and move the nation forward.

According to him, the whole issue about #EndSARS protest and its aftermath came with a lot of lessons learnt.

“The bottom line is that we must move forward as a nation, and we continue to learn everyday. I believe that what heppened during that EndSARS will never repeat itself again.

“So many things, many infrastructure of government were destroyed, I bet you if it had been other states, they will not get over it till thy kingdom come but we want to appreciate the Lagos State Government for rising up to that challenge.

“Lagos State Government has been doing very well, as far as infrastructural development and listens to the masses. So, the Peace Walk is the thing that everyone wants to embrace

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“What has happened has happened, we need to move on, let us come together and forge ahead.

“I believe the government is reasoning in the right direction. So people should join hand with the government to make sure that we come together and build our country ourselves,” he said.

‘What has happened has happened,’ Lagos church backs Sanwo-Olu’s ‘walk of peace’

Sogunro said that the church, formerly known as The Holy Order of Cherubim and Seraphim Church Movement Ijeshatedo, was founded in 1970, by late Senior Apostle Nathaniel Aderibigbe Ajijolaoluwa, in a small shop at Johnson Bus stop, ljesha Road, Surulere, Lagos.

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He said that since inception, the church had exhibited its spirituality and revealed revelations, of which a lot of testimonies abound.

According to him, the church has billed to celebrate its 50+1 anniversary and dedication of its cathedral on December 11, and the Adult Harvest Thanksgiving Service on December 12.

He said that the church had highlighted a lot of activities for the three major programmes, which had started on November 28 with health check, health talk and evangelism.

Sogunro said that there had been praise concert, symposium, visit to orphanage home, with inter-branch Bible Quiz, Prophetic Night on December 8.

He urged Christians to continue to live according to the dictates of the Lord God, so as to live meaningful lives.

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Dowen College: Family Hires Femi Falana Over Sylvester Oromoni’s Death

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Dowen College: Family Hires Femi Falana Over Sylvester Oromoni's Death
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Dowen College: Family Hires Femi Falana Over Sylvester Oromoni’s Death

After petitions addressed to the Nigeria police force (NPF), the family of the late 12-year-old Dowen College student, Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, has hired the firm of a foremost human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, to prosecute the case against the institution over the unfortunate death of their son.

The lawyer has, therefore, written to the office of Lagos State’s chief coroner, requesting an inquest into the circumstances leading to the death of his client’s child.

It was earlier on Monday reported that the insistence of the deceased’s father, Sylvester Oromoni Snr, that his son was bullied to death, even as he lamented the attitude of the school management to the development.

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Lawyer’s letter

The letter, which was dated December 6, 2021 and signed by Taiwo Olawale, a copy of which was obtained by Chrysora Media, was specifically addressed to the chief coroner, high court of Lagos State.

Entitled; “Request for Inquest into the Tragic Death of Sylvester Oromoni killed at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos,” noted that based on the briefings by the family, the late student died as a result of injuries allegedly inflicted on him by his seniors at the school.”

The letter reads in part: “Given the needless death of Sylvester Oromoni, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to cause a coroner’s inquest to be conducted into the cause of death of this young and promising boy and make appropriate recommendations pursuant to Section 15 of the Lagos State Coroner’s Law 2007 that states that an inquest shall hold whenever a coroner is informed that the death of a deceased person within his coroner district is as a result of a death in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation.

“We hereby request your lordship to conduct an inquest into the circumstance surrounding this tragic death and we are confident that your lordship will accede to our request with utmost urgency.”

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