If you are a Nigerian living abroad and thinking about Independence Day with fond memories, you aren’t alone. Over 1.24 million Nigerians are working and living outside their homeland.
Independence Day is largely a date of rest and relaxation, a national day to spend with family and friends. From Abuja to Lagos, Nigerians dress in green and white and honor their past, present, and future as a nation. For those living abroad, it may not feel the same. But just because it isn’t the same doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
In fact, Nigeria Independence Day is the perfect time to come together with the local Nigerian, and, at times, pan-African community. In some cases, the local community may also want to learn more about Nigerian culture and its struggle for independence.
In this guide, we’ll cover how you can keep the festive and patriotic spirit alive on Nigerian Independence Day, even if you are living abroad.
Whether you live in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, or another country, there’s a good chance that your neighbors, co-workers, and friends don’t know much about Nigerian Independence Day. And they may ask you about it. While they may not know much about the history of Nigeria, many will relate to the patriotic feelings of independence. So, it can be helpful to summarize the main events:
What would become the modern state of Nigeria was first formed in 1914 under the British Empire. However, the Nigerian people were always campaigning for their independence from Great Britain from that period onwards.
In the 1940s, the future first president of independent Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe, formed the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), and worked together with other nationalist figures like Obafemi Awolowo for freedom. And the hard work of the many revolutionaries paid off.
On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained its total independence from British colonial rule. The new country received a Freedom Charter on that date from Princess Alexandra of Kent, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative at the Nigerian independence ceremonies.
As you know, Independence Day is always celebrated on October 1st, and is a national holiday in Nigeria. Being abroad, you may or may not get this day off. But if you want the time to celebrate, it’s best to ask for the day off in advance. Of course, in 2022, it falls on a Saturday so you may be off work, anyway.