Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nigeria Is Worth Dying For!

Nigeria Is Worth Dying For! If Not, Who Is To Blame?

Paul Adujie

Some Nigerians are of the opinion that the time to be patriotic will come, the time to love Nigeria will come, the time to be willing to die for Nigeria will come, but certainly not now, as they are waiting to be patriotic, they await the time and moment, when all will be well with Nigeria, they are waiting for the perfect time, for Nigeria to be worthy of love and loyalty and they are absolutely wrong! Some Nigerians Are Waiting To Be Patriotic! Nigerian Christians and Muslims are willing to die for God, but not Nigeria? Hmmmmm!

It is true that Nigerians have gone through decades of tumultuous lives, both economically and politically, no one needs any sense of ardor or acuity to understand the impact of these twin debilitation of economic and political tales of woes that bedeviled all and sundry in Nigeria, it is also true, that the situation has been so tough, so much so, that blind persons can "see it"

Nigerians have had generations-long feud amongst the leadership elite, Nigerians instead of being set on recovery, reconstruction, rehabilitation and renaissance now that we have some semblance of democracy, some Nigerians instead, seem determined to destroy Nigeria, in order to save her? As they argue fiercely for sovereign national conference instead of constitutional amendments. Patriotism has served some countries well in the past and I believe it will serve Nigeria well if Nigerians embrace it heartfelt, liver-felt and kidney-felt!

I have read recent comments by some Nigerians, whose commentaries suggests Nigerians should not be mentioned in the same sentence with patriotism and love of country, because Nigeria is not living to its full potential, but without meaning to devolve into some monologue and preachment about patriotism, that some have called nostalgia or sentimental reminiscences on my part, Nigerians must learn that revenge is a limited and limiting emotion, Nigerians must transcend their desire to avenge and revenge, Nigerians must transcend mutual suspicions and disdains. It was almost predictable and trite that some Nigerians would react to President Obasanjo's admonitions adversely, without asking any questions of Professor Oluloyo whose funeral orations in English, Latin! and Yoruba precipitated this controversy, he orchestrated it, with his very insensitive remarks. Were Professor Olunloyo an American politician? He is politically dead, coffin nailed and all, Nigeria is not worth dying for!

When some Nigerians rush to belittle Nigeria, even as they express their revulsion in being affectionate toward Nigeria, they are quick to forget the wonderfulness of Nigeria, and I say to them, that Nigeria remains my uncontested and most favorite nation on earth

Most Nigerians, it appears, are discussing patriotism or love of country, seem to forget to make a clear distinction between Nigeria and previous and current leadership. I think there is a world of difference in saying I dislike the leader of the local government area of my birth, compared with whether I love my local government. We Nigerians must learn to separate Nigeria from Nigeria leaders, leaders who are mere baby sitters or house warmers, Nigerian leaders are not the baby nor the house! If you hate your babysitter, must you as a consequence also hate your baby?

A man and woman deserve the baby sitter they hire and retain, just as countries are said to deserve the type of leadership they have. Democracy, even imperfect democracy, as we have now, will allow Nigerians to determine the kind of baby sitters that we will have in due course, when democracy in Nigeria matures to the point that we can hire and fire leaders through an incorruptible ballot box, we will they have ourselves to blame for hiring the wrong baby sitter.

Hitler did not succeed in his policies and war efforts by himself alone, and the late Mr. Abacha, the vice president Ekwueme's hero and nationalist, like Hitler, did not succeed by himself alone, there was someone from your hometown and mine, who benefited and looked the other way

The only reason on earth, Nigeria is not as yet, where and how we want Nigeria to be? Because no one is willing to love Nigeria, protect Nigeria and die for Nigeria, we non wan die, we never build house, etc, apologies to Fela Kuti, Fela is more deserving of Nigeria admiration, respect and national awards, albeit, posthumously, but instead, some Nigerians are clamoring for MKO Abiola this, MKO Abiola that, why do we always want like banks, to give loans to only those who already have enough money?

Nigerians must realize that Nigeria is like our parent, we should love and be loyal to our parents, whether they are poor or rich, whether they have PhDs or they are unemployed road-diggers, this is to make the point that, affection, love, loyalty and faith has nothing to do with wealth or level of education. If you love your parents, you will continue to love them, even if they are afflicted by leprosy, AIDS, or alcoholism!

We should love our parents unconditionally, just a as we should love our country unconditionally.

Those who excelled in the ruination of Nigeria are angling once again, to be at Nigeria's helm and of course, the people would allow them?

I strongly recommend that Nigerians cease to perceive patriotism as a form of personal insult or as the ultimate dirty word; Nigerians should be demanding patriotism from our leaders and the average Adamu, Bola and Chimdi, instead of wanting to go to sleep with a type of hope-for-the-best plan, this, as everybody knows, is disastrous planning style/method, you do not hope for the best without doing anything! You will be hoping in vacuum, hope without efforts, is vacuous.

All Nigerians need to demonstrate that we are not citizens in transit, We must start to act in a manners that clearly shows that we have a stake in what happens to Nigeria, a stake in the outcome of every Nigerian circumstance. Too many Nigerians currently behave like bad refugees! As if saying, this is not my home, I am here temporarily as a refugee, so I do not have to clean up after myself, it is the Red Cross or UN's job to clean the refugee camp, not me, the refugee! This is the characteristics of a bad refugee, good people should clean up after themselves, whether enjoying normal lives or living temporarily in a refugee camp.

My parents use to tell us as children, that good behavior is always expected and that good behavior should be effortless, it should not be compelled or demanded. All Nigerians citizens should have this as a motto. Good citizenship and patriotism is always expected; It should have to be demanded; It is a duty! There is an axiom that says that, where there is a right, there is a reciprocal and corresponding obligation.

What comes first? Love of one's country or benefits from being from one's country? What comes first? Investment or profits? Love of country and willingness to die for country is an investment in duty and commitment, the benefits and profits of citizens from great countries comes from the willingness of the citizens of such countries to die for their countries! It is what in the past, I have written about as the chicken and the egg enigma and at other times as the consequential thinking, as it relates to how things are in Nigeria.

When we show a lack of interest in finding solutions to the situation that our country face, we are not helping our cause and our collective purpose as a nation; In order to reach our collective goal and destiny as a nation, we must reform our ways, if we are lack luster regarding what happens to our country, if we show a nonchalance in what afflict and affect our nation, while we are private citizens, where and when that is the case, it will remain so, Even when we become leaders of local governments, the states or the federal government, But if we are good private citizens, We will still be good and patriotic citizens, hence our actions will so reflect as local, state or federal leader; Good leadership does not arise from a sudden epiphany of some sorts! Bad citizens do not suddenly morphed into patriotic and dedicated leadership, hence it is often said, a people get the leadership they deserve (from among themselves, good or bad) as good or as bad as the populace.

Nigerians should cease sitting on the fence! We should become proactive and diligent in resolving all the issues that we are confronted with; We should stop acting as if it is someone else’s duty to sort out all the issues and solve them for us during our collective vacation away from Nigeria!

Too many Nigerians assume or act as if the 'health' of Nigeria is none of their personal business, When we do that in our private lives, such attitude does not suddenly change because we become Local government chairperson, become the governor of a state or the president of the republic! Being good citizens does not happen because one has become the governor of a state! The challenges we face are not going to be resolved by some invading force, or some foreigner, but by well meaning Nigerians amongst the citizenry,

Too many Nigerians indulge in courses of conduct that carry grave consequences for us and other Nigerians, and yet we tend to foist our angst on all other Nigerians, even though we are the cause or part of the problem or had participated in creating the mess which we now complain about! The National Assembly should strengthen existing laws and make new ones as necessary, in order that those who discover wrong doing and report such wrong doing, are adequately rewarded or compensated for reporting avarice, greed and misconduct that saps public funds, or that defeat national objectives and affect national interests adversely, I am certain that with such reward, compensation and additional safeguards, a great many Nigerians will have additional incentive to report corruption, wrong doing and other misconduct in public life and this will buoy the other efforts geared towards establishing a corrupt free and just society in Nigeria.

Nigerians need ethical re-orientation regarding what constitutes our national interests and then, proceed to pursue such interests single mindedly and resolutely.

All Nigerians should act and become more ferociously determined to demonstrate the fact that Nigeria is ours and our responsibility, Nigerians must show a willingness to make sacrifices for Nigeria's success, not only when it is convenient, we must show that we are willing to die for Nigeria, if and when the need arise, as a matter of fact, we should remember, that so many Nigerians have already paid the full price of supreme sacrifice or ultimate of life, as the answered Nigeria's call in the past, we must show a commitment to Nigeria, instead of acting as if we are just passing through and could not care what happens to Nigeria.

We should stop acting as if we are seceding tomorrow and starting some other republic and hence we have no stake in the present one. Our words and actions should be guided by genuine goodness and patriotism and not malice against any existing leadership, because such leadership is not from our region, our state or hometowns and besides, leadership is ephemeral.

What happens to Nigeria as a corporate and geographical entity, happens to all of us as individuals, directly or indirectly! It is irrelevant that we live in New York, Zurich or Kuwait.

When Nigerians die in the Desert or in the Atlantic Ocean, we should all feel a sense of loss and grief and collective embarrassment, instead of laughing and lampooning Nigeria and the present leadership, we should begin to think of how revive Nigeria from decades of despair, so that No Nigerian leaves in desperation and meet the lonely death in the Desert or desolate Atlantic Ocean.

All Nigerians need to start acting in a manner that demonstrate our collective resolve to put an end to the challenges that Nigeria facing for decades.

Nigerians must start to be full time Nigerians, with permanent interests in Nigeria, instead of acting as if we have alternative or substitute plans that is necessarily inconsistent with our being part of a single and united one Nigeria nation, we should put in a one hundred percent effort into our Nigerian-ness and our efforts on behalf of our country, we should stop acting as if we are seceding tomorrow! We should put all our hearts in Nigeria and we will overcome all challenges, We must all clearly indicate that we have permanent interest in Nigeria.

Nigeria is ours! In failure and in success; preferably in success! All Nigerians at home and abroad must play their part in helping Nigeria succeed. The time is now! And Nigerians should be willing to die for Nigeria, when and if the need arises, that willingness demonstrates our stake, high stakes in Nigeria and those high stakes would lead us all, Nigerians to protect, serve and love Nigeria

Nigerians should perform a sort of constant assessment tests, we should evaluate our roles and contributions to everything that occur in Nigeria, What is our duty? What is our obligation? What are our responsibilities? How do we contribute to making the system work?

First published in July 10, 2004
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