Patriotism is the obligation of everybody to his or her own nation. It is patriotism that propels one into doing the extraordinary for his or her nation. It is the spirit of patriotism that possesses a soldier and force him into accepting death in defence of his nation. It is patriotism that makes a man wave his flag with emotions and pride. This same patriotism makes a leader to put his nation first before any other thing. That is exactly what propels a leader into resignation when the people demand that he step away. He rather give up his political ambition or job for the good of his nation. Without patriotism, the people can’t call for revolution when things are going astray. It is patriotism that makes one put his life on the line to confront the evils of tyrants in power.
I have watched how people in Europe and America treasure their countries, how they are ready to die defending their nation. The tales of the heroic actions of American soldiers which showcased their love for their nation have been told. Their love for their nation is unquestionable. We can’t say same of Nigeria.
In Africa and Nigeria in particular, the story is completely different. I can tell you for sure that from the President, Muhammadu Buhari, his deputy- Yemi Osibanjo and to the last Nigerian, non is a Nigeria. I don’t think anyone is oblivious of this fact. Just that we don’t want to admit it. Nigeria is a nation without patriots. The leaders don’t love Nigeria and neither do the masses love Nigeria.
The only time people have genuinely waved Nigeria flags is in the times of football where they forget the atrocity that is Nigeria to rejoice at the heroic performance of the Super Eagles. Believe me, in the actual sense, Nigeria only exist as a tool of extortion where extortionists serves the interest of their stomachs and the stomachs of people around them. Those that ignorantly claim they are patriotic are those that thought patriotism is equal to the amount they are able to steal from Nigeria.
Every four years, politicians struggle to take over power, so as to keep looting the country dry. Looking at Nigeria, no sane man will be patriotic to her. A nation that rewards terrorists and even recruits them into the military doesn’t deserve to be called a nation. Nigeria is a home of terror where the lives of citizens means nothing to the leaders. Victims of Boko Haram are dumped in mass graves, but Nigeria leaders will be the first to send condolence messages abroad when three or four persons die. Recently, Nigeria vice President went to Rwanda to honour the victims of Rwandan genocide, while they do nothing for the 3million Biafrans they killed with starvation in 1967/70.
Leaders in Nigeria steals the country dry without anyone questioning them. In Nigeria, every politician is corrupt, yet none of them is in jail for corruption. Millions of youths are jobless. Children are struggling to be in school. In the universities, students are forced to bribe with their money or sleep with lecturers for marks.
Marginalization is the order of the day. The APC government has given everything to the North. Gradually, they have Islamized Nigeria. Fulani herdsmen terrorists have been offered 100Billion so that they can stop kidnapping. Tell me which country does that. It’s certain that they will use the money to buy more weapons. Kill and kidnap more.
We are not Nigerians. No one is a Nigerian. That’s why no one is patriotic to the country. The reason President Buhari is appointing and handing over everything to the northerners is because he is loyal to Arewa and not to Nigeria. A Yoruba looks for what will favor Oduduwa and not Nigeria. That’s why Yoruba is comfortable with the seaports concentrating in Lagos alone. They are comfortable seeing the seaports in Calabar, Warri, Rivers, Onitsha, Bayelsa etc rot away. It is all about Oduduwa for them.
Biafrans in the other hand wants out of Nigeria because they have realized that they will develop better staying on their own. To achieve this, they have paid with more than 3million of their own. Something they can’t do for Nigeria.
It is either Nigeria agrees to a peaceful separation, or keep staying together and crash. It can’t ever get better. This is because we are all loyal to our individual nations and not to Nigeria.
Written by — Elochukwu Nicholas Ohaji
Edited by — Paul Ihechi Alagba
(Family Writers Press)