473 views | Oye Arikanki | December 24, 2019
This conversation is to spark a national debate. It about gauging our patriotism quotient as Nigerians. It concerns both our leaders and citizens. As of now, our patriotism as Nigerians is low and there is a need for a fresh rebirth hence the obstetrics which is a branch of medicine concern with childbirth. I believe our founding fathers are more patriotic than our present politicians. Indeed, Nigeria as a nation was built on a solid foundation of patriotism by the founding fathers.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that our new generation of politicians is doing all they can to tear our Nigeria apart but we will never be allowed them. Are our present political office holders patriotic? Are they ready to make the sacrifice and died for Nigeria? What they give, are they equivalent to what they are getting? Are they close to the people they represent?
Apart from the Nigerian police force, I salute our other military arms for their patriotism and sacrifice in the vigorous defense of our nation. Their self-motivation and exploits in warding off the invaders of our territorial peace are unmatched. They need our prayer and support. While the Nigeria army is pushing away those terrorizing our nation, the police are rather killing innocent young men inside Nigeria. Even when they are not given enough weapons, the Nigerian army risks their lives by fighting insurgency and banditry that threatened our nation.
Apart from the Nigeria Police, the Nigerian Military are very patriotic. Many of them have died in their service to the nation. The Nigerian police are not patriotic while the army is the embodiment of patriotism.
As Nigerians, each of us has an obligation to our country, both the leaders and the citizens. We all need to sacrifice for our nation. It was unpatriotic to go about saying a bad thing about your country either within or outside.
This famous quote of John F. Kennedy comes to mind “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country”
It is very important that each one of us activate the virtue of patriotism and be loyal to our country. Mind you I don’t say be loyal to the government or leaders. I love the Americans, how they are so proud of their country. Let us be proud of Nigeria. This reminds me of something that happened some years ago when I was working with the Nigeria High Commission abroad. Almost every day we received complains about one bad thing or the other that Nigerians are doing. And we are not defending or supporting those bad things.
But there was this lady at the front desk, who went overboard. She bloated out ‘I wish I’m not a Nigerian’ without thinking twice, I asked her to keep quiet and never to say such a thing again. Yes, there are few bad nuts among us as there are in every other country, yet you should be proud of your country. I have never or will never be denied my nationality even thou people tried to mock and say disparaging things about Nigeria. Anywhere I go to and hear all those bad stuff people say about Nigeria, I will raise up my hand and rise to the occasion, I will start to spew all the good things about Nigeria. My stand is clear, I love my country.
One of the ways to show our patriotism is by changing the way we talk about Nigeria. Let’s speak positive things about Nigeria. The words we speak are powerful. They can affect how things turn out in our nation. When we speak good things about Nigeria, you will be surprised that good things will start happening in our nation.
Another way to show our patriotism is by obeying the law whether someone sees you or not. Anyone that gets himself in any act of killing is unpatriotic. If you love another countryman you won’t point your gun at him.
Our leaders can show patriotism by fulfilling their campaign promises and should never dip their hands in the till. They should never engage in blame gain. We voted for you to serve us. You are now our servants. Serve us and not the other way round. How long will you be blaming past government? We’ve heard that enough, no more.
Are those criticizing the government patriotic? Or course, any patriotic citizen must always be ready to defend the people against the government because the loyalty of the patriots is to the nation and you can only be loyal to the government when they deserve it.
Let’s be positive about Nigeria because things are going to be alright very soon. Don’t let us be cynical about this great nation. Nigeria’s condition may be dark now, but good days will soon come upon us. Sometimes, we jump up and blame our leaders for everything, but leaders themselves need encouragement.
The citizen also must show patriotism. When you drink a sachet of water and throw it on the gutter and the gutter gets choked, and during the rain, the water could not pass properly, do you blame the leaders for this? Yes, some of the nation’s leader needs to be scolded, but at the same time, every Nigerians must imbibe a new spirit of cleanliness, discipline, honesty, and patriotism. Let’s imbibe the habit of see something say something.
If you see a neighbor or someone doing something wrong, report. Whistleblowing does not have to be about money alone. We don’t have any other country we can call our own. This is the only country we have, let’s all together make Nigeria great.
Look, if you are born in Nigeria or your parents or grandparents are of Nigeria descent, there must be a knack of patriotism in you. You must not say bad things about your country especially when you are outside the shore of Nigeria. I say to you, young Nigerians, and also the old folks, love Nigeria.
Let’s pick ourselves up – the broken pieces and reinvent our nation again. How dare you write Nigeria off? How dare you say nothing good can come out of Nigeria? That is not true. This is our country. Appreciate the can-do-spirit and happy living determination of Nigerians. Our bold approaches to issues and our big thinking attitude. Nigerians always like to do things in a big way. Let us relish the beauty of our countryside. Nigeria is a great country.
Let’s treasure our history, culture, music, food, literature, fashion, languages. The things that bind us together are more than the things that divide us. There are lots of things still redeemable in Nigeria, everything we’d lost can be reclaimed. Every of our money stolen and stalked away will be recovered. Don’t let politics and politicians divide us. Let’s stick together, work, eat and play together as a people. Let our children play together in the streets and let no one molest them. Nigeria is one indissoluble nation.
Let me end this my admonition with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt who wrote “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country”. The angels are still in the whirlwinds.
Thank you for allowing me to share my candid thoughts with you today. You are not born to suffer as there is a seed of greatness in you. Only you can make your life a masterpiece. You have a choice. You can accept your present circumstance and keep playing around, watching football games or take responsibility and challenge yourself to change your situation. It is up to you. God bless you and God bless Nigeria.