The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and its partners — PT Books, YIAGA Africa, OakTV, Sahara Reporters and TechHerNG — on Wednesday 18th March announced a book project to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s political independence. The project involves the production of a book of 60 essays on Nigeria with the title, 60 Years, 60 Voices – Essays on Nigeria at Sixty.
Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL, the initiators of the project, said the essays will be written by young Nigerians whom he described as change agents, to help the country focus on issues that hold the key to Nigeria’s survival as a country.
In his words, “These essays will examine Nigeria’s social, economic and political situation and explore the options open to us, suggest solutions and how to actualize them. The essays will take a critical look at the country’s democratic experiment since independence in 1960, where the country is today and some of the major issues that have dogged the country’s march to genuine democracy and nationhood.
The essays will not only be used to celebrate Nigeria’s diamond jubilee but also as a tool of mobilization towards addressing critical issues surrounding the country’s socio-political, economic and cultural evolution from the independence to the present day. “Through these essays, the book hopes to document our failures, successes; but more importantly, the way out of the cul-de-sac Nigeria has found itself,” Onumah said.
Contribution to the book is restricted to Nigerians born after the civil war, that is, not more than 50 years and spread across the 36 States of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory. They must be active and progressive in orientation. The young, active citizens are the ones, the partners believe, would inspire and rekindle hope and bring the country out of its gloomy situation.
Onumah described the new decade as a defining moment for Nigeria. He said sixty years after independence, fifty years after a civil war and at the beginning of a new decade, it is time a new generation of citizens is challenged to reposition the country. According to him, the future of Nigeria is in the hands of the youth. “The youth are the social forces that would bring change to the country. How they handle it will determine where the country goes,” he stated.
Therefore, this project challenges the youth to chart a roadmap that outlines a future that works for the good of the greatest number of compatriots; one that puts the country on the path of growth and development.3