My dear residents of Ifako-Ijaiye, the good people of Lagos State and Nigeria at large. Today, despite the stark challenges that stare at us as a nation and tug at the fabrics of our being, we once again rejoice at the celebration of another independence as a nation.
As a nation and people, we have been stretched by different mitigating factors but we have held strong. We have been bent but not broken. We have been tossed, like a ship in a storm, but our spirit has held strong. In the face of adversity, we refuse to despair, forging on with a glimmer of hope that once again, our nation will heal from the visible scabs of dateless challenges and take its rightful place among the league of genuinely progressive nations.
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For us as a people, a nation is beyond geographical representation; it is a collection of our labored sweat, our momentary smiles, our fights and disagreements, the pains in our hearts knowing that we are capable of more as a nation and the hope we silently nurse that though we have our backs to the wall, we will not throw in the towel. Separated by states, local governments, tribal marks, tribes, ethnicity, skin color, and diverse languages, we are doggedly united in our challenges as a nation.
Someday, this ugly phase will fade with the past and the victories and successes ahead will become our fabled history to many unborn generations. While we wait for that phase, we will hit the ground running, put our best foot forward, we will bury the hatchets that threaten our peaceful co-existence, and foster intentional bonds of progress.
As individuals, families, communities, and associations, we can look with renewed hope at our local government (Ifako-Ijaiye) that is far from being perfect but which can create equal opportunities for residents to attain their desired aspirations.
Though at this moment we might keep a gloomy face, our challenges as a Local Government, a state, and a nation are nothing as strong as our collective will to overcome. For now, let’s don our green-white-green with pride and begin to hope again.
Happy Independence Anniversary, Nigeria!