99 Views

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s Speech Declaring Independence In 1960

The Speech Declaring Nigeria’s Independence by Nigeria’s First Prime Minister Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa – October 1, 1960

balewa speechh.PNG

Today is Independence Day. The first of October 1960 is a date to which for two years, Nigeria has been eagerly looking forward. At last, our great day has arrived, and Nigeria is now indeed an independent Sovereign nation.

Words cannot adequately express my joy and pride at being the Nigerian citizen privileged to accept from Her Royal Highness these Constitutional Instruments which are the symbols of Nigeria’s Independence. It is a unique privilege which I shall remember forever, and it gives me strength and courage as I dedicate my life to the service of our country. This is a wonderful day, and it is all the more wonderful because we have awaited it with increasing impatience, compelled to watch one country after another overtaking us on the road when we had so nearly reached our goal. But now, we have acquired our rightful status, and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well-built upon firm foundations.

Today’s ceremony marks the culmination of a process which began fifteen years ago and has now reached a happy and successful conclusion. It is with justifiable pride that we claim the achievement of our Independence to be unparalleled in the annals of history. Each step of our constitutional advance has been purposefully and peacefully planned with full and open consultation, not only between representatives of all the various interests in Nigeria but in harmonious cooperation with the administering power which has today relinquished its authority. At the time when our constitutional development entered upon its final phase, the emphasis was largely upon self-government: We, the elected representatives of the people of Nigeria, concentrated on proving that we were fully capable of managing our own affairs both internally and as a nation. However, we were not to be allowed the selfish luxury of focusing our interest on our own homes.

In these days of rapid communications, we cannot live in isolation, apart from the rest of the world, even if we wished to do so. All too soon it has become evident that for us, independence implies a great deal more than self-government. This great country, which has now emerged without bitterness or bloodshed, finds that she must at once be ready to deal with grave international issues. This fact has of recent months been unhappily emphasised by the startling events which have occurred in this continent. I shall not belabour the point but it would be unrealistic not to draw attention first to the awe-inspiring task confronting us at the very start of our nationhood. When this day in October 1960 was chosen for our Independence, it seemed that we were destined to move with quiet dignity to our place on the world stage. Recent events have changed the scene beyond recognition, so that we find ourselves today being tested to the utmost. We are called upon immediately to show that our claims to responsible government are well-founded, and having been accepted as an independent state, we must at once play an active part in maintaining the peace of the world and in preserving civilisation.

I promise you, we shall not fall for want of determination. And we come to this task better-equipped than many. For this, I pay tribute to the manner in which successive British governments have gradually transferred the burden of responsibility to our shoulders. The assistance and unfailing encouragement which we received from each Secretary of State for the Colonies and their intense personal interest in our development has immeasurably lightened that burden. All our friends in the Colonial Office must today be proud of their handiwork and in the knowledge that they have helped to lay the foundations of a lasting friendship between our two nations. I have indeed every confidence that, based on the happy experience of a successful partnership, our future relations with the United Kingdom will be more cordial than ever, bound together, as we shall be in the Commonwealth, by a common allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, whom today we proudly acclaim as Queen of Nigeria and Head of the Commonwealth. Time will not permit the individual mention of all those friends, many of them Nigerians, whose selfless labours have contributed to our Independence. Some have not lived to see the fulfilment of their hopes – on them be peace – but nevertheless they are remembered here, and the names of buildings and streets and roads and bridges throughout the country recall to our minds their achievements, some of them on a national scale. Others confined, perhaps, to a small area in one Division, are more humble but of equal value in the sum-total.

Today, we have with us representatives of those who have made Nigeria: Representatives of the Regional Governments, of former Central Governments, of the Missionary Societies, and of the Banking and Commercial enterprises, and members, both past and present, of the Public Service. We welcome you, and we rejoice that you have been able to come and share in our celebrations. We wish that it could have been possible for all of those whom you represent to be here today. Many, I know, will be disappointed to be absent, but if they are listening to me now, I say to them: ‘Thank you on behalf of my countrymen. Thank you for your devoted service which helped to build up Nigeria into a nation. Today, we are reaping the harvest which you sowed, and the quality of the harvest is equalled only by our gratitude to you. May God bless you all. This is an occasion when our hearts are filled with conflicting emotions: we are, indeed, proud to have achieved our independence, and proud that our efforts should have contributed to this happy event. But do not mistake our pride for arrogance. It is tempered by feelings of sincere gratitude to all who have shored in the task of developing Nigeria politically, socially and economically.

We are grateful to the British officers whom we have known, first as masters, and then as leaders, and finally as partners, but always as friends. And there have been countless missionaries who have laboured unceasingly in the cause of education and to whom we owe many of our medical services. We are grateful also to those who have brought modern methods of banking and of commerce, and new industries. I wish to pay tribute to all of these people and to declare our everlasting admiration of their devotion to duty. And finally, I must express our gratitude to Her Royal Highness, the Princess Alexandra for personally bringing to us these symbols of our freedom and especially for delivering the gracious message from Her Majesty, The Queen. And so, with the words ‘God Save Our Queen’, I open a new chapter in the history of Nigeria and of the Commonwealth, and indeed, of the world.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

How Ex-PDP chairman’s Son Muhammed Bello Was Stabbed To Death By Wife
Shocking
520 views
Shocking
520 views

How Ex-PDP chairman’s Son Muhammed Bello Was Stabbed To Death By Wife

PH - November 20, 2017

Habib Gaiam, a family friend to the son of former PDP chairman, Haliru Bello, has revealed what Bilyamin Muhammed Bello told him before he was stabbeed to…

Nigerian Who Helped Diezani Buy Properties In London ‘Revealed’
Politics
892 views
Politics
892 views

Nigerian Who Helped Diezani Buy Properties In London ‘Revealed’

PH - November 20, 2017

A London estate agent who appeared on the BBC’s Homes under the Hammer has been named in an investigation into alleged corruption by a former Nigerian oil…

Meet The Die-hard Fan Of Davido Who Recreated Virtually All Of His Photos (PHOTOS)
Entertainment
616 views
Entertainment
616 views

Meet The Die-hard Fan Of Davido Who Recreated Virtually All Of His Photos (PHOTOS)

MT - November 20, 2017

This die-hard fan of Nigerian singer, Davido, proved himself to be his number 1 fanatic as he recreated most of his photos on social media. Its funny…

Nigeria’s Economy Records Positive Growth of 1.4% in GDP in Q3
Business
133 views
Business
133 views

Nigeria’s Economy Records Positive Growth of 1.4% in GDP in Q3

PH - November 20, 2017

Nigeria’s economy continued its recovery from recession, rising 1.4 percent in the third quarter of this year on increased oil production, official data showed Monday. The National…

7 Reasons Technology Cannot Fix Nigeria
Technology
132 views
Technology
132 views

7 Reasons Technology Cannot Fix Nigeria

PH - November 20, 2017

The list below is from a must-read article written by Frank Owusu for BBN Times: Why Technology Cannot Fix Nigeria (Part 1). There is a link to the…

Ekwueme`s Death, Big Loss To The Nation – Nigerians in Dispora
Best of Nigeria
157 views
Best of Nigeria
157 views

Ekwueme`s Death, Big Loss To The Nation – Nigerians in Dispora

PH - November 20, 2017

The Nigerian community in South Africa says the passing away of Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Vice President, is a big loss to the nation. Ekwueme died in…

How Jonathan Averted Blood-spilling in 2015 – Atiku
Politics
389 views
Politics
389 views

How Jonathan Averted Blood-spilling in 2015 – Atiku

PH - November 20, 2017

Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has described former President Goodluck Jonathan, as a patriotic man who saved the lives of Nigerians during the 2015 elections. He said…

REVEALED: Jonathan’s Wife called Adoke ‘Useless Man’ For Not Disqualifying Buhari in 2015
Politics
168 views
Politics
168 views

REVEALED: Jonathan’s Wife called Adoke ‘Useless Man’ For Not Disqualifying Buhari in 2015

PH - November 20, 2017

Snippets of what transpired after the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28, 2015 presidential election are now coming to the open, with his wife…

N-Power: How To Check Pre-selection Status
Job & Career
99 views
Job & Career
99 views

N-Power: How To Check Pre-selection Status

PH - November 20, 2017

N-Power, ​the ​Federal Government empowerment scheme, on Monday explained how applicants can check their pre-selection status. The information was contained in a statement on its official Twitter…

Late Alex Ekwueme Believed In The Unity Of Nigeria – South-East Governors
Politics
179 views
Politics
179 views

Late Alex Ekwueme Believed In The Unity Of Nigeria – South-East Governors

PH - November 20, 2017

The South-East Governors’ forum on Monday, joined millions of Nigerians to mourn the death of former Nigeria’s Vice-President, Dr Alex Ekwueme. Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi and…

Actress Regina Daniels Caught On Camera Crying After Injection (Video)
Entertainment
408 views
Entertainment
408 views

Actress Regina Daniels Caught On Camera Crying After Injection (Video)

MT - November 20, 2017

Before now, we never knew that Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels had aichmophobia (morbid fear of sharp things), and she displayed that after taken to the hospital for…

VIDEO: Why Nigerians Won’t Stop Calling Me A Fraudster – Dammy Krane
Entertainment
53 views
Entertainment
53 views

VIDEO: Why Nigerians Won’t Stop Calling Me A Fraudster – Dammy Krane

MT - November 20, 2017

Singer, Dammy Krane has revealed his disappointment at Nigerians for stigmatizing and treating him as a fraudster even after the US justice system has vindicated him.  …

Anambra Defeat: How Makarfi Brought Ill-luck To PDP – Kashamu
Politics
410 views
Politics
410 views

Anambra Defeat: How Makarfi Brought Ill-luck To PDP – Kashamu

MT - November 20, 2017

The senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu, has described the tenure of the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed…

Drama As Wizkid Reportedly Welcomes Third Child With His Manager [Photo]
Entertainment
1183 views
Entertainment
1183 views

Drama As Wizkid Reportedly Welcomes Third Child With His Manager [Photo]

MT - November 20, 2017

Father of 2 and Nigerian singer, Wizkid, reportedly welcomed another baby boy with his manager Jada Pollock, according to industry rumours.   According to sources, Wizkid and…

108million Nigerians Lack Toilet Facilities – United Nations
Food and Health
178 views
Food and Health
178 views

108million Nigerians Lack Toilet Facilities – United Nations

MT - November 20, 2017

Despite huge technological, scientific and industrial advances, an estimated 108 million Nigerians still lack access to toilets, the United Nations stated yesterday on this year’s World Toilet…

Daddy Freeze: “Pastor Said I Will Die In 24 Months Over Tithe, Free The Sheeple”
Entertainment
984 views
Entertainment
984 views

Daddy Freeze: “Pastor Said I Will Die In 24 Months Over Tithe, Free The Sheeple”

MT - November 20, 2017

Popular OAP Daddyfreeze has cried out after popular pastor whom he claimed that he attended his church for over 11years and contributed to the building of his…

Super Eagles Player Leon Balogun Breaks His Hand, Undergoes Surgery
Sports
191 views
Sports
191 views

Super Eagles Player Leon Balogun Breaks His Hand, Undergoes Surgery

MT - November 20, 2017

Leon Balogun, Nigerian Super Eagles powerful defender has returned to the treatment room days after helping the Super Eagles beat South American giants Argentina 4-2 in Krasnodar…

Entertainment
220 views

Nigerians Dig Up Banky W’s 2016 Posts Where He Promised To Do Lowkey Marriage, After His Elaborated 2017 Wedding

MT - November 20, 2017

Nigerians have come for singer, Banky W who had a multi-million naira traditional wedding yesterday after digging up a 2016 Snapchat post where he vowed not to…

Loading...