Reviving Patriotism Among Nigerians
By David Adetula
“I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and honest. To serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity, uphold her honour and glory, so help me God.” If only we can live our days abiding by this allegiance we pledge to our dear nation, I tell you fellow Nigerians, our nation Nigeria will be a safer and better haven for us all.
I will not do well digging into this topic without explaining the key word therein; Patriotism. What is Patriotism?
The generally accepted Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines Patriotism as ‘the love of your country and willingness to defend it.’ Yes, as simple as that. Obviously short but encompasses a whole lot of things. Considering Nigeria, the love of our nation is something that should continually ring in the heart of us all and the willingness to sacrifice our all for her and her progress.
With this, can we say we are Patriotic? I mean, do we love our nation and defend it AT ALL time? Without any shadow of doubt or complacency, you will agree with me that an average Nigerian will answer the questions afore asked with a YES which is not true many a times.
It is quite disheartening that thesame Nigerians that confess to love their nation ignite, spearhead and encourage motions and actions that affect her nation negatively while they do little or many even do nothing to affect it positively. Why then is this happening to us? Why do we see less of Patriotism in Nigerians?
I want to say the virtue of Patriotism has been relegated to the background by our citizens and even leaders. Need I say that Patriotism even extinct amidst us faster than evil in our land? It is quite bad!
Like I pointed earlier, this issue gets more disturbing and worrisome that the leaders that are supposed to even be in the frontal position of inspiring citizens to be patriotic do more to discourage it. Some leaders put their selfish interest above the interest of the over the interest of the over 160 million Nigerians. You vow to make the nation violent because your interest was not popular among the citizen. What can we call this? Patriotism?
Little wonder we see many of the nations in the Western World thrive well because Patriotism seconds no virtue possessed to propel their nation. This reminds me of a movie I saw sometimes ago titled ‘Olympus Has Fallen’, many that have been opportune to see it will understand what Patriotism in the United States of America looks like. Even at the face of death, the spirit of Patriotism never dies in them. Either win or lose, Patriotism is always appreciated.
Being Patriotic is not only required from the leaders, the followers are also expected to be patriotic. ‘I will do this’ says Peterson and he did it, Patriotism starts from there. Sincerity and honesty to fellow citizen is also next to being patriotic to the nation because what connects you with your neighbour is the similar citizenship you share. How about being a law abiding fellow even in the face of intimidation and oppression? Patriotism is an issue that cannot be discussed without mentioning the word ‘Faithfulness’.
Fellow Nigerians, your being patriotic may seem unrewarded today but may I tell you, the God of our fore-fathers that brought this nation into existence is watching! Yes, it sounds like myth but that is the truth. Beware! Rewarding Patriotism at most times may not be through Money or valuable items but in other appreciable means.
My esteemed readers, permit me to end this write-up with the popular quote of that Greek historian and philosopher, Thucydides, “a private man however successful in his own dealing, if this country perish, he is involved in his destruction. But however, he be an unprosperous city, he is much more likely to recover. Seeing then, that States can bear the misfortunes of states.” Nigerian belongs to us all, so we should continually seek and promote and encourage actions that will work for her wellbeing. Thank You.
The writer of this article, David Adetula is a 300L student of Obafemi Awolowo University. You can reach David through his e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org