This is not a campaign either in support or opposition of the current government, rather this is a cry for help. I was born and raised in Nigeria, and the issues and concerns I’m about to raise, sadly, I’m also guilty.
At this time, it is safe to say that our country is broken, like a vehicle, our engine has ‘knocked’. Nigeria has lots of problems, but this article (or whatever you may want to call it) is not going to point them out; instead, suggest how we may move forward. Sadly, I will have to admit that the level of patriotism in Nigeria, today, is profoundly low. Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for a while, to the extent of becoming our culture. This conclusion is based on my interactions with fellow Nigerians, as identifying as a Nigerian has been reduced to something that you fill out on a form. This is because we have segregated ourselves into various subsets – that is, ethnic groups and tribes.
Before identifying as Nigerians, some of us first identify with our ethnicities – Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani, Ijaw, Hausa etc. As a result, it has severely affected how we see our country. This is why the issue of secession (Biafra) has gained popularity in some parts. This is not only because interests are not being met, but it also has to do with the fact that we just don’t care what happens to our nation. Rather, we are concerned with what only benefits us, usually at the expense of others.
Like it or not, you only have one country – Nigeria, except you are a dual citizen. And your fate is tied to the country’s. If you have been opportune to travel outside of the country, there are limitations to the benefits you can enjoy regardless of your status within the foreign country. And there is the nagging visa issue, which usually involves a tedious process. Long story short, away from home, you are not fully settled. This is why we have to fix our dear country.
The first step, in my opinion, is the way we think about our country. These are hard times for everyone, and there are concerns to when things will get better. As a result of the frustration that arises from these worrisome times, some of us have resorted to hateful comments about the country. These are comments like “let the whole country even spoil sef.” While it is understandable where these frustrations may be coming from, wishing failure upon the government and country is not the best course of action. This is because such statements fuel hate, and it brings no solution. Times are hard for most people, but this is not when we give up, rather, this is when we unite in love and work towards a glorious future. But, we cannot achieve this if we do not love our country. It is this scarcity of patriotism in our leadership that has brought us to where we are today. Therefore, we need to look a bit farther into the past to understand who we really are. We need to revisit the mindset of our independence heroes, who fought hard to free us from colonisation.
I plead with every Nigerian that reads this – Please let us love one another, irrespective of our tribal and ethnic differences, and learn to love our nation again. Whatever your belief, please continue to pray for unity and peace in our land.
Thank you for reading through, God bless you and God bless Nigeria.