Youths, under the auspices of ‘Breathe One Nigeria’, on Thursday night staged a recital forum for poetry, spoken-word and songs in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to reflect on Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary.
Selected youths, drawn from different backgrounds, took their turns to give “electrifying” performances, while others joined the forum virtually from across the country.
The youths presented sensational recitations and songs that chronicled Nigeria’s ‘gains and pains’ since it gained independence from colonial rule in 1960.
Dr. Moses Paul, convener of Breathe One Nigeria, said the event was to re-echo Nigeria’s need for unity, peace and progress, and to overtly condemn divisive tendencies, especially along religion and ethnic lines.
He said: “We are simply saying that Nigerians need to breathe because the kneel of corruption, the kneel of injustice and the kneel of poverty have been on their necks over these years. Nigeria has turned 60, yet we have not been able to build successfully on the foundation laid by our founding fathers. We are still standing on the same spot Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Obafemi Awolowo stood, and we have refused to move forward in nation building. Our justice system, security architecture, corruption and poverty have really made our people struggle for breath, and we are saying in one voice today that Nigeria needs to breathe. We want leaders at all levels to know that the youths are not happy and will no longer keep quiet because they want a Nigeria they can be proud to call their country”.
Paul therefore urged youths to be resolute and hold leaders accountable as the nation steps into another decade in order to build and secure their future and that of the next generation of Nigerians.
Favour Johnson of One Voice Africa, ace singer Chris Ade, Social activist Aisha Yesufu and John Ikeme of Citizens First were among those who made presentations at the event.
All the performers identified insecurity, religious and tribal conflicts, unemployment and poverty as time bombs that required urgent attention in order to make headway.
They, however, urged citizens, especially leaders at all levels, to embrace value re-orientation and promote the spirit of patriotism, sincerity, selflessness, as well as unifying factors in the collective efforts towards nation building.