It’s 2:22am and there was a slight argument between my mind and body: where are we? As far as my mind was concerned (based on earlier plans), I was already in my hotel room in Cotonou, but my body still woke up in Lagos. Okay, reality is that I had to shelve my earlier travel plans, but will hit the road in a few hours.
I’m off to Benin Republic for consulting work and to speak at a school, and will proceed to Ghana for more work — and will take advantage of that opportunity to also participate in a few of the Ghana @ 50 events. Incidentally, I arrive Accra on the exact day that the nation attained independence 50 years ago! I am a proud African and can only imagine what thoughts were on the president’s mind when he said, “However much we differ on issues, there are moments, which should bring us together. One such moment is the Golden Jubilee of our nationâ€™s independence. We should rejoice in the fact that in spite of many periods of uncertainty and difficulties in the last 50 years, we have managed to pull together as a nation to this day… Let us resolve to draw a firm line between our chequered and unhappy past and a future full of hope, achievement and fellow feeling.
With such a resolve, we cannot fail. Long Live Ghana!”
According to the Ghana @ 50 website: “On March 6, 1957, Ghana became the first country in Africa south of the Sahara to gain independence from colonial rule. 2007, marks 50 years of independence. The theme for the anniversary is Championing African Excellence. Ghanaâ€™s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, envisioned this country as the guiding light of African independence and solidarity — the BLACK STAR, the lodestar of Africa. Ghanaâ€™s attainment of independence and the subsequent ideological support it extended to other colonized countries on the continent, culminated in the emancipation of many of these countries from colonial rule.”
I think the main objectives for the jubilee celebrations are quite interesting: celebrating and commemorating Ghanaâ€™s landmark achievement as the first country in Black Africa to attain independence from colonial rule; reflecting on the evolution, development, achievements and drawbacks of our country over the past fifty (50) years; and to look forward to the future, to a vision of excellence in all fields of endeavour in the next fifty (50) years toward our centenary birthday as a nation. I also find the year-long activities marking the Golden Jubilee interesting, with activities beginning in January 2007 and ending in December 2007 with themes such as January’s Reflections, February’s Towards Emancipation, March’s Freedom March, April’s Our Nation, Our People, May’s Our Wealth and Our Prosperity, June’s Heroes of Ghana Month, July’s African Unity Month, August’s Diaspora Month, September’s Service to the Nation, October’s Knowledge and Ghanaâ€™s Development, November’s A Healthy People, A Healthy Nation and December’s Final Curtain.
I’m glad that I’ll be part the Freedom March, and look forward to Nigeria’s 50th anniversary in 3 years!