Under the rain, we ran. Struggling as we strived to have a view of the minister of education on the Independence day celebration many years ago. Our voices fell and rose as we chanted the national mantra cumbered with a deep believe in its lines.
Some of us closed our eyes to further derive it's meaning - line by line.
In rows we marched, saluting at every stop as we approached the major arena. 

We were young and filled with innocence to the brim. Our heavily starched uniforms gummed to our frames as we perspired.
The line "to serve Nigeria with all my strength" makes me cringe today. The realisation that we've strayed away from serving the country we pledged allegiance to - as age takes its toll - hits me hard in the right places.  

I remember how I watched Obi quote great figures for a contract he needed a few thousands for in the office a week ago. I remember how Mr Tukur's wife and children - even the ones unborn - receive huge amounts of money monthly as ghost workers at the local government secretariat.
Tears stream down my face today. It's another day of celebration, laden with sober reflections, mixed feelings, wishes and hopes.  "She can't swim across her hurdles", I hear some whisper. "Her leaders are her problem," some others murmur,
"I regret being her citizen" others scream.
But I see a future!

I see a nation void of corruption and ill fate! If only we'll pick up our mantles,  renew our pledges,  reinforce our strengths and make the change we so much crave for happen via the change we make in ourselves.
A N D R E W  D O R C A S

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