For a nation, anniversaries are important occasions comparable to birthdays in the life of individuals. Anniversaries also provide ways of gauging a nation’s journey through the ebbs and flows of life as well as stir up the sense of shared destiny, and belonging.
As the country marks it’s 61 years of freedom , Nigeria as the most populous country in Africa that ranks 7 , the on the list of most populous countries in the wolf got her independence on October 1, 1960, partly as a result of the sacrifices made by the founding fathers and nationalists of that time. They strived and got it.
The hardship and maltreatment suffered by the builders of Nigeria brought out their strengths to stand against the colonial masters. Their agitations were centered only on how they could have the nation of their dreams where the lives of the citizens mattered and their properties were secured. Their fight was for the emancipation of their people from the oppressors and give hope to generations yet unborn
They endured so much in the hope that coming generations would not face the same hardship. It was a fight that fetched them a resounding and worthy victory. It earned them the freedom we now celebrate as our Independence Day.
On the cusp of independence, Nigerians were in high spirits, jubilating and celebrating that they were finally going to stand on their own. They were confident that a new journey had begun and the task to build a nation of peace and comfort for all citizens was occupied everybody’s minds.
These were the sacrifices made by our forefathers to engender the development of sane youths, with the hope that the legacy they left behind would be strictly followed by their successors. Today, that legacy has been sustained by a youth who has impressively written his name on the sands of time.- Bayo Omoboriowo.
While many critics of government, including youths opined that growth as an independent nation is not visible in Nigeria, that at 61 years, the country’s growth does not correspond with its age. Others echoed that Nigeria, the acclaimed giant of Africa wallows in a pool of disgrace and is even worse off than some other African countries that gained independence before and after it, hence, a shame to the successors of our heroes past,
Omoboriowo, President Muhammadu Buhar’s official photographer, has through his photobook, “Discover Nigeria”, unveiled Thursday by Mr president, set the record straight, proving beyond reasonable doubt that our heritage , won for us through the blood and toil of our forefathers is held in high esteem.
Omoboroiwo, was notified of the ground breaking feat on Thursday afternoon by Guinness. In fact, the news of the epoch-making verification came few hours before the unveiling of the photobook by President Buhari at the closing edition of Nigeria at 60 activities held at State House Conference Centre, on the eve of Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary.
In an email to the 34-year old photographer, the records management team of Guinness wrote: ‘‘Dear Adebayo Omoboriowo, we are thrilled to inform you that your application for largest photo book has been successful and you are now the Guinness World Records Title Holder! You are now eligible for one complimentary Guinness World Records certificate.Congratulations, you are officially amazing!
The 392 page book which is a pictorial presentation of Nigeria’s history , covering the people from independence in 1960 to the present showcases the country’s rich traditional institutions , the ingenuity of it’s people, the beauty of it’s landscape , the richness bof it’s farmland , the stunning waterfalls , the rocky mountains and the many seas among other national treasures.
The author , recognised as the iconic photographer ;Bayo Omoboriowo, did a great job of presenting in a well choreographed pictures, the people, cultural diversity , festivals , landmarks, the breath- taking landscape , the art words , the man- made and natural tourist attractions as well as ancient and modern towns and cities in Nigeria.
According to him, the book, which celebrates the people, places and cultures of Nigeria at 60 with the eponymous title,; Discover Nigeria is a treasure for Nigeria and foreigners alike, who seek to discover this vast land of almost 200 million people.
LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that the record largest photobook, ‘‘Discover Nigeria’’, measures 7.8meters by 7.8meters (totalling 60.84 square meter or 654 ft² 87 in²) when closed and when opened it is 15.65metres on its horizontal breadth and 7.8meters on its vertical length.
The photobook of 60square meters of 60 images on 60 pages showcases Nigeria rich traditional institutions, ingenuity of its people, the beauty of its landscape, the richness of its farmlands, stunning waterfalls and seas, among others.
It’s replica which is a coffee table top tourist reference material is available for commercial purchase in bookstores nationwide and it measures 30cm by 30cm.
Delivering his thank you speech, delighted Omoboriowo said: ‘‘I am grateful to God for the privilege to be the Nigerian I am, grateful to my family and loved ones and very grateful to President Buhari for believing in me from day 1 and supporting this idea from inception.
‘‘Nigeria is a beautiful country with huge potentials and I’m glad our efforts in promoting Nigerian Art and Culture to the world haven’t been a wasted effort. Join us to Discover Nigeria, join us to birth a new narrative of a vibrant people and culture.’’
He said to capture the entire country , he took a trip from East to West, North and to the South . THE iconic author revealed what Nigeria has that many other countries are struggling to comprehend to be a large pool of hugely talented and highly driven people who see to dominate and be the best at what they do.
“ This is true for medicine , where a Nigerian doctors have proven themselves in Nigeria and in other countries , and and this is true for sports like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and even in boxing.
He said in the the area of celebrities and artists, Nigeria is a first port of call when they tour Africa. In fact, the ingenuity of Nigerians is not hidden as was evidenced during the Ebola crisis which gave the country’s health s ctor receive global attention and understudy. Even in 2020,the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control ( NCDC) played and is still playing a major role in the country’s fight against COVID-19 , a virus that has ravaged the world.
In literature, Nigeria has not been found lagging globally, as if a strand of excellence bis wrapped around it’s writers. In fact, a new wave of young generation writers shining a light on the literary culture with which the country I Is endowed.
In Virtua art, Nigeria’s participation at the 57th Venice Biennial in 2017 was one of the major highlights bof the event.
He said, beyond personal and entrepreneurial achievements are the selfless sacrifices made by many across the country for the good of all .
Chief among st such Nigerians are the personnel of the Armed forces and other security agencies whom for years have worked ceaselessly n to protect our nation from unpatriotic elements , especially bin the North -eastern parts of the country.
Their gallant efforts are a core contribution in ensuring that Nigeria today is safe., Secured , and progressive and continue to build a brighter tomorrow.
He acknowledged that there ‘ll always be challenges and hurdles to overcome. said , but knowing that you have the confidence of the people whom you profess , that assurance makes your achievements very fluid.
You know when you see a driver who has the control of a car, and who is sure of where he is taking the car to, and he knows the destination , he knows the road , he drives with confidence . There are speed bums, potholes, dangerous bends .
Acknowledging that president Muhammadu Buhar’s led administration has sustained the spirit and tempo of the purposeful governance he promised, the iconic author said, Nig is not only on track but had covered significant mileage in the drive to deliver on its sublime mission of peace and wealth …
He urged Nigerians to reflect on the collective dreams of the founding fathers and the uncompromised values they held in high esteem at the inception of the nation as they laboured for its freedom.
According to him, this way, we can reignite the same patriotic spirit with which our sovereignty was valiantly fought for. He said, “
Without values , decency and patriotism, it would be difficult to galvanise government efforts to face the challenges which confronts the nation today and even in the future.
He said, as patriotic Nigerians , we should be willing to dialogue rather than respond to the slightest perceived provocations, and above all, in our tolerance of opposing views, even as we pursue our political ends
The book revealed that the North Central region of the country holds a great promise for the progress and investment opportunities for future economic growth in the individual states and Nigeria as a whole.
The photobook also revealed that the North West region, as a multicultural and multi- ethnic region has a bright future ahead as efforts are on ground to make the area a hub of industries and agriculture , scaling up to meet both local and global demand.
It says North East region has gone through many challenges in the area of security in recent years, however, there are ongoing efforts to transform it economically with the support from private investors while improving both the safety and economic conditions of Resident.
The book also has it that while oil is what the South South Region is most known for, agriculture is the mainstay of most indigene. Across the states , govt s are prioritizing efforts at boosting agriculture . Undoubtedly , the region is rich in vegetation and mineral resourced – a haven for travellers and investors
South West this region cooperates across sectors b and the cooperation is institutionalized in the Odu’s investment ncompany limited Formed by the states on 1976
In all , the PMB led administration continues to take proactive steps ,alongside partnering with the private sector to build Nigeria’s institution , infrastructure and industries.
The photobook was concluded thus, “ Nigeria is gift to the world and that Nigerians are the greatest win for the country. Years ago, former south African president , late Nelson Mandela , said that Africa ‘s respect was dependent on Nigeria . He further said, the black people of the world need Nigeria to be great as a source of pride and confidence. The journey into greatness is int the steps Nigeria is taking in creating a better society today and for the future