To unity and faith, peace and progress.
Its now fifty-four years that Nigeria did the formal send-off of the British colonial government. It was on the first of October, 1960.
Not long before, the British had mapped out a territory to be bound together as one country. They named it from the Niger river area. In 1914 the British colonial administration at the eastern edge of West Africa put together a motley crew of tribes and tongues; nations of various character, nations with different histories, to form one region, one administrative domain. There began our collective history as Nigeria.
Long before 1914, there was a call put out to peoples of every tribe and tongue and country to join a new nation. It’s bells ring today. The way been cleared and the door was opened for any to enter by a choice. To become one nation under God and to have the spirit of Christ to rule them all. Its a motley crew of peoples too, transcending borders and lands, peoples and cultures. You could almost think America. The Church is the Ecclesia, a people called out of many tribes.
Different from how the peoples of Nigeria became Nigerian, we became Christian by choice when we acknowledged that God is, and chose to believe that the son of God died and was resurrected for us, alive now and for eternity. Our ‘independence’ moment.
This translation was effected by our words spoken from heart as we’d said that Jesus the Christ is our lord and leader; It was also in mind and attitude, as we’d chosen to believe Jesus the Christ—accepting as truth that he had brought us into sonship with God, the supreme love.
Our differences and the collective experiences of our tribes may give us reasons to differ, to argue, and even to be angry. What really makes the difference for society and more, is the attitude with which we deal with these histories and feelings. Always we remind ourselves as Christians that we are one in Christ; we remind ourselves also to earnestly keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, dealing with one another in love.
We are reminded to not go to bed with anger. Reminded to forgive; to repay evil, but with good. To stand for truth and justice. And to choose peace, as much as it depends on us.
All too often, our humanity gets in the way. So it’s a battle, and one we will win with God’s help. And He says we have to try first, and second, and third, and ….
With the unifying by the Spirit of Christ, or nationhood, differing backgrounds should only be celebrated and appreciated. True that our tribal loyalties are strong, but our bond in God is deeper. Our bond as a nation, and family, needs be stronger than every reason for balkanisation in order to keep good peace and ensure oneness.
We have only a few things to live in: righteousness, peace, and joy. Surely we can make it.