“Patriotism” a word missing from Nigerians’ Dictionary

Posted: December 8, 2013 in Articles
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by Okoye Chukwudi Charles Ezeamalukwuo

On 26th of March this year, Nigerians woke up to a shocker. The air was dense with the story of a first order betrayal. We woke up to learn that our favourite musician; Tuface Idibia had eloped to Dubai with his fiance to get married. At first we could not believe it. Our own Tuface whom we have faithfully followed from his grass days to his grace elevation. This development left most of us bitter because we have always been with him since the hard days of John the Baptist, through thorns and thickets. We have been his unappreciated marketers and have always managed to purchase his original CDs despite the assault of Alaba boys. The least we expected were fried rice with chicken and a recognition as being part of his friends and well-wishers. But alas we were not High-class enough.
As if that was not enough on 9th of November this year, we were treated on Instagram with pictures of Annie Odibia (Tuface’s wife) departing for the USA to give birth to their child. We will not say that we were completely caught unaware. It’s now a trend for well-to-do Nigerians to give birth in one of the first world nations preferably Britain or USA. Everybody wants the best for their kids and that means “Not-Nigeria”. This now brings me to the issue at hand.

Patriotism is a word, or a way of life that is almost non-existent in the Nigerian Society. Starting from our leaders to our middle class, all the way down to the poorest of the poor lies this vivid disregard and disrespect for anything Nigeria. A lot of people are busy working hard to get their visa to leave Nigeria, even if it is to go aroving in the dense jungle of Congo. Many are dying of thirst in the harsh desert of Sahara on their way to El-dorado that is Europe. Others are living in self-imposed exile; the life of a house rat, daily avoiding the Fat Cat (which is the police or immigration officers) lurking nearby. Some have even entered into scam marriages just to get green card. And others are fuming, cursing under their breathe, patiently waiting for an opportunity, any opportunity to punish Nigeria for daring to exist in the first place.

A lot of people blame it on our leaders. Those people usually say that if our leaders have tried to develop Nigeria, all these problems will not exist. And I in turn have asked; where were our Leaders from? Were they not formerly part of us, part of the Middle class (though a few might be from the lower class too). I have asked those perpetual complainants what they have done in their own part of the society to savage Nigeria, and their answers have left so much more to be desired.

The unpatriotism ravaging Nigeria has entered it’s chronic stage that no one wants to be identified as a Nigerian anymore. Marriages and shopping are now done in Dubai and Cotonou, Child bearing in USA, Britain, Canada and Europe, Academic studies are now done in USA, Britain, Ghana, Ukraine, Philippines, Singapore, Canada etc, Medical checkups are now done in India, Saudi Arabia, USA and Britain, Banking is now done in Europe, Switzerland and Cayman Island, Business Transactions and trades in China, even dying is now done abroad. Nigerians are now preferring to die outside Nigeria ooo eg our former first lady, former biafran warlord, PDP former National Chairman etc.

I have associated with many Nigerians and I have come to see that the major problems of Nigeria do not lie solely on the government but also on the people, especially the middle class, who want so much to belong to the hollywood americana. People who take their kids to Nigerian-based schools that do not teach Nigerian Curriculum (eg Loyola Jesuit, Turkish international, British American international and so many Abuja, Port-harcourt, “Ikoyi-Lekki-VI-Maryland” based schools). These schools in my opinion are not suppose to operate in Nigeria, teaching our children in pounds, shillings and dollars while we are still using Naira and Kobo.
People who worship Common Chinese restaurant (one of the cheapest restaurant in the first world).
People who use bleaching cream and any other skin changing stuffs to whiten their skin, because black skin to them is a second rated skin.
People who will never wear their natural hair in public or promote the African and Traditional way of life to the outside world.
People who hire poor white men to be their managing directors in order to get contract and those Nigerians who give them the contract because of the white men.
All these people in my book are part and parcel of Nigerian Patriotism problem.

Our leaders are majorly from the Middle class, and from this class will most of our future leaders emerge (unless there is a catastrophic revolution that upset the balance of the Nigerian Society). If the Middle class have so been compromise, verily I say unto you all the future is very bleak for Nigeria.

What then is the way forward? The way forward now is a mental revolution. There is no excuse for indifference. You are either a patriotic Nigeria or you are unpatriotic, there is no in-between. Being patriotic requires one to look out for the common good (The Nation’s Interest) and not just to seek for personal comfort. Why not use the money you waste on Yankee-oriented Schools to promote at least one Nigerian-oriented schools. Why not use the money you waste on chinese, brazilian hair, whitening creams and co and invest in promoting Blackness and African-ness. Why are you running away from Nigeria like packs of locust seeking for greener pastures in Europe and America, only to turn around and complain of racism… My brother if you be White man you no go vex for all those immigrants. Why don’t you stop complaining today and start today to contribute your quota to the development of Nigeria. Why don’t you remove that USA flag, that Israel flag you have in your house and in your car and keep only Nigerian flag, because come rain come shine, Naija na our only home.
For if we start little by little to show love for Nigeria and the Nigerian way of life, who knows, our children may one day rise up to look at their fatherland with joy, and having no thought for Europe or America, say with all sincerity; “God Bless Nigeria my country.”

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

  1. Anene Francis says:

    Problem pointed out beautifully. Wonderful suggestions and encouragements also… The present state of Nigeria makes it difficult to be patriotic. True. BUT why scramble for valuables from a burning house when you can help put out the fire and save all. I don’t endorse ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. Each night star contributes its little light not minding if its alone or the moon (leader) is doing same. Mentality of ‘What is in it for me’ won’t help us. Sacrifice pays off more, at most in the long run… “I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and honest…”. I still do… Lol @ “…even dying is now done abroad…” 😀

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