As Nigeria marks 63 years of independence, Senator Ned Munir Nwoko, representing the Delta North senatorial district, has delivered a poignant message reflecting on the nation’s journey since gaining freedom from British colonial rule in 1960.
Senator Nwoko’s message centered on the need for true independence, transcending political freedom, and addressing the lingering specter of neocolonialism. The lawmaker emphasized that genuine sovereignty encompasses not just political autonomy but also economic and cultural independence.
He termed it a “call for reparations” – an earnest confrontation with the historical legacy and a plea for equity in the present. Reparations, Senator Nwoko argued, should extend beyond monetary compensation and take the form of equitable partnerships, fair trade practices, and a commitment to eradicating inequalities stemming from Nigeria’s colonial history. This, he believes, is the method to dismantle the remnants of the past and pave the path toward true independence.
The senator insisted that there is little to celebrate until Nigeria achieves both economic and cultural independence. He called for self-sufficiency through robust production and manufacturing and urged the nation to establish global competitiveness on its terms.
His message as made available by his media office in Abuja, read in full;
“Nigeria at 63: Striving for True Independence
“As we mark 63 years of independence, it is a moment for reflection, hope, and renewal. Our journey since breaking free from British colonial rule in 1960 has been marked by challenges and triumphs. However, the shadow of neocolonialism continues to loom over us, hampering our true progress.
“Neocolonialism, the subtle influence of former colonial powers in our affairs, is a reminder that our battle for genuine independence is still ongoing. We must recognize that true sovereignty means not only political freedom but also economic and cultural independence. It is a call for reparations – a reckoning with the past and a demand for fairness in the present.
“Reparations, not just in the form of monetary compensation, but through equitable partnerships, fair trade, and a commitment to eradicating the inequalities that persist due to our colonial history, are essential. This is how we dismantle the remnants of the past and pave the way for true independence.
“There is nothing to celebrate until we achieve economic and cultural independence. Until we establish self-sufficiency through production and manufacturing and until we become competitive globally on our own terms.
“Our nation’s growth hinges on unity, inclusivity, and innovation. It is a collective effort to build a self-reliant economy, strengthen our institutions, and provide opportunities for every Nigerian. It is about investing in education, healthcare, sports, infrastructure, and technology, so that no one is left behind.
“But at the heart of our progress lies the empowerment of our youths. They are the torchbearers of our future, and their dreams and aspirations are the driving force behind our greatness. We must invest in their education, nurture their talents, and create an environment where their entrepreneurial spirit can thrive.
“As we raise our flag high today, let it symbolize not just our history but our resolve to overcome the vestiges of neocolonialism, demand reparations, foster national growth, and empower our youths.
“Together, with commitment, we can forge a future where our nation stands tall as a beacon of true independence and all-round prosperity.”