How we celebrated Nigeria’s independence – Eminent Kwarans 


By Christie Doyin, Adebayo Olodan and Mumini Abdulkareem

Was in Lagos as delegate of Ilorin council –Saka Opobiyo
I was there in Lagos as a delegate of Ilorin council to witness the event. It was a very colourful moment filled with nostalgic feelings of our lost heritage. Britain sent Margaret Thatcher, who is the younger sister to the present Queen of England to witness the event. Awolowo’s loyalist boycotted the event and only few of them showed up because they never wanted Lagos to be taken away from them and made the capital of Nigeria. But that didn’t affect the celebration. It was a marked day in our history.  I think the lesson we can take away from this is that we should put the state first in all we do and see how we can make Kwara a better place for everybody to live

We trekked from Alore to Baboko to celebrate- Ayinke Saka
I had just left Barakat primary school and I could recollect we trekked from Alore to Baboko with our green and white clothes on and a cap to match. We were given glucose and other refreshments to keep us active all through the celebration. Those days before and after independence, we had no security threat, you can travel from here to Kano anytime of the day and can even sleep in the bush without being attacked. There was unity of purpose and as Nigerians; we had the freedom of living anywhere in the country without being harassed. Aside the issue of hatred that has set in, another problem that we need to reduce now is corruption and the security challenge. Education and sensitisation of the citizenry will go a long way in curbing some of those challenges highlighted

I was sponsored with £5 to watch event – Tunji Arosanyin
I was there in Lagos 57 years ago to celebrate our independence and was sponsored with five pounds to watch the event. That feeling is always evergreen. Watching the union flag being brought down and ours flown. I was at Carter Bridge, watching all the leaders and when it was the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, people ran after him and Lagos was practically shut down. But I remember the independent eve more than the day. On the eve, we were at Race Course popularly known as Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) eating, drinking and dancing till 5am the following day, I can never forget. I remember there was a heavy rain that later drove us away and anytime it rains, I always remember October 1st, 1960.

I was in Kaduna then – Shehu Gafar
It was a great day we all always look forward to Nigerians of our own generation. It was the birth of a new nation and I was in the north then. It was quite colourful watching all the parades at the Kaduna Race Course.

Celebrated as student of GSS Ilorin – Peter Olorunnisola, SAN
I was at Provincial Secondary School (PSS) now Government Secondary School, GSS, Ilorin during the independence celebration. We matched and had fun and it was a special day for all children, especially students even among the non-school goers, though it was officially done in Lagos.
We couldn’t differentiate between the Empire Day and our Independence day because; it was all fun and merrymaking for all.
57 years after Independence, I can say we are still growing, it is normal when a child is growing to face challenges, though some children will have some challenges while some will have stress-free life while growing.

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