Patriotism Is Not A Dirty Word!
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States
It must be realized that the tasks of making Nigeria look good, belongs to the government at all levels in Nigeria, it also belongs to private and public corporations/companies and of course, it belongs to motivated and public spirited individual citizens! No government, anywhere in the world, wno matter how efficient and effective, can achieve very much, and in all areas/departments, alone, on its own; Concerted efforts are therefore always required, as necessity and compliment, for government policies or programs to be any success. Here lies the praise-worthiness of Mr. Maduka's insightful efforts/contributions.
In America, most public policies, if not all, always have component parts driven by ordinary citizens and members of the public, usually described in America as John Q public, the John Doe and Jane Addams of America, Nigerians must learn to cultivate this public spirit for the common good, perhaps we can call it, the actions of citizens Adamu, Bola and Okoro of Nigeria?
In the United States, it is frequently the case, that every conference, every sports fiesta, are seen as opportunities to advertise the USA to the rest of the world! Be it the hosting of the Olympics or World Cup or the Super Bowl; These events frequently generate short, medium and long term economic, social and developmental benefits.
Stadiums are built, other public facilities and amenities are built or enhanced for the public, such as public transportation, like the trains/subway etc. Hence, the different levels of governments in America, the different communities, corporations/companies and individual citizens, lobby hard to have the rights to host these types of events!
Companies want the rights to display their logos, the right to claim to be the official sponsor of this or that event! There are tangible and intangible gains from these hosting; And huge employment are generated in the short and long runs, hotels are usually fully booked, hotels make money, the shoe-shiners, make money, the taxi-drivers make money and believe-it-or-not, the unmentionables, such as the sex workers make money too!
All those countries and heads of governments, that President Obasanjo have been talking to, visiting and revisiting, during these past five years, will now be in Nigeria, in one Hall, in one Room! Let the lobbying begin! Let the Nigerian business class and executives of the organized private sector leverage their experience to Nigeria's benefit! Drum roll please! Let Nigerian leader, the Nigerian Press/Media, now make the pitch of a lifetime to our foreign guests!
As a cartoonist also suggested in The Guardian newspapers of Nigeria, last week, the CHOGM, may also present the golden opportunity, for Nigeria to impress it upon the visiting heads of governments and our "brothers and sisters" of the Commonwealth club, that Nigeria's looted monies and resources, in their various countries, belong to Nigeria, and Nigeria must use this spectacular opportunity, while the CHOGM lasts, to remind Attendees, to do all, that they can, to ensure that Nigeria's wealth is returned to Nigeria, where it properly belongs! Tell the Queen! Tell the Prime Ministers! There is no better time, than during the CHOGM, to Tell Them, To FORGIVE OUR DEBT! RETURN NIGERIA’S LOOTED MONIES AND RESOURCES! Return what belongs to Nigeria!
There is no better time to drum-up business for Nigeria, to drum-up tourism for Nigeria! It is also the case, that Nigeria may reap immediate or future benefits in terms of tourism, as those who had not "discovered" Nigeria as a vacation destination, may finally do so; New friendship, political, personal and business, may also be cemented; It will also give a wonderful opportunity of, free imaging making for Nigeria's image makers, because, during CHOGM or such other conference or international activity, Nigeria will be the focus of major media houses in America, Europe and Asia, particularly, in the home-countries of the attending dignitaries and heads of foreign governments.
Every Nigerian at home or abroad, must put Nigeria first, second and always, even as public policies are debated! Including those who disagree with Nigeria's role in the Commonwealth club, or even others, who are anguished by the cost of hosting events like the COJA or CHOGM, We cannot in the name of public discourse, throw the baby and the dirty bath water, we should desist from washing our dirty linen in public, all in the name of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and democracy! Observe a “ceasefire”
I am confident that Nigerians can eschew any open display of our family squabbles during CHOGM. Nigerians must collectively give a befitting reception, play the perfect host to our foreign guests during CHOGM, this is probably not the best time to engage in our now familiar family squabbles, the world is watching, let us show our guests, that Nigerians and all Africans respect our guests, that we play perfect host, with all the courtesy and hospitality in the world! Nigerians and Nigeria will earn the respect and admiration of our guests and everyone in the whole world!
First published in Dec 2003... relevant now as it was then.
Patriotism Is Not A Dirty Word!