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Integra Leadership Foundation’s Open Letter As Nigeria Clock 59



Dear Nigerians, home and abroad.

Happy 59th Nigerian Independence Day.

On October 1, 1960, Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa urged us to “move with quiet dignity to our place on the world stage.”

On October 1, 2003, the world stage is defined by such technologies as personal computers, the Internet and mobile phones.

The 21st century will be the century of knowledge and the century of technological developments and a century in which the intellectual capital of a nation will drive its economic growth. It is therefore imperative that we invest in our children’s education, not only so that they can flourish in a world that demands technological literacy, but so that we can harness their creativity in building our nation.

Our investments in education and technology will be our legacy to our children. They are investments that will bring the best out of the next generation of Nigerians and enable us to reach our potential as individuals, as communities, as a nation.

There is an old saying: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry.” The art of fishing and self-sustenance is more valuable than having a fish on your plate. For Nigerians in particular, this parable reminds us that developing our human resources is more valuable than exploiting our natural resources.

Our brothers and sisters, we invest in education because it will enable us to build a better Nigeria. Our children will be the beneficiaries tomorrow of the collective decisions that we adults make today. When we invest in our children, we will find that our collective standard of living will grow, too.

The real leaders of this nation are ordinary people with the extraordinary determination and foresight to invest in their children’s education.

As we answer Prime Minister Balewa’s call and march towards the world stage, let us also remember that our common interests – in our nation, and in our children – outweigh our differences. We are greater than the sum of the fears that have kept us divided in the past as a people.

As we pause to celebrate our nation’s 44rd birthday, please take time to remember that most Nigerians who celebrated our nation’s first birthday are no longer among us. We honor their memory and legacy by showing our love for our family and friends, our respect for each other, and reaffirming our oneness as a people.

You owe it to our founding fathers and mothers, and to all Nigerians, to avow that wherever flags are flying, no one is more determined than you in ensuring that the Nigerian flag flutters high above those of many nations.

Nigeria is a work in progress and a country with enormous potential. Our petroleum reserve is the envy of many other nations today, and the Nigerian people have an unstoppable determination, internal fortitude and indomitable spirit that give me hope for the future.

From all of us @ INTEGRA LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION, we greet all Nigerians with love and respect, and send you our best wishes for a joyous Independence Day.

– Comrade ‘Bode Oladitan

– ‘Sola Adunni
Secretary, ILF