By; Jacob Onjewu Dickson
Our dear country Nigeria is in serious trouble. This time, it is not the low price of crude, or the troubles from the almost defeated Boko Haram. The trouble we are in is definitely not the blowing up of pipelines and oil installations by neither the Niger-Delta activists, nor the rampaging arson and near genocide being perpetrated by herdsmen, yet we are in serious trouble.
The trouble we are in would have been no trouble in other climes, because they have moved on beyond pettiness that has for long bedeviled Nigeria, to embracing real patriotism for their nation states, co federal unions or nations.
We remain stagnant, taking one step forward and two steps backward, the vicious circle continues.
Individuals in this great country of ours’ have decided to remain loyal to their ethnic group, religion, region or maybe both. At times their loyalty could even rotate around the three demographs, depending on the gravity of the issue at stake. We would eagerly turn blind eyes to the wrong deeds of our kinsmen, provide alibi, security, moral, financial and even spiritual support to them even when it is obvious they were caught on the wrong side of the law, be it constitutionally, religiously or even judging by humanity standards.
Simply put, our conscience have become seared, toughened and misplaced over time by our selective exposure.
We have made it part of our own ‘ten commandments’ that anytime a public figure in Nigeria is on the national alter for any wrong doing, we become the ‘people’s advocate’ that either support or condemn his action, taking sides for and against, depending if he is tied to us using our varied demographics of ethnicity, religion, region or not.
Nigerians have become the ‘law’ and the ‘courts’ that are quick to pass sentences on those not from our divide even when it is glaring that they are innocent, and acquitting those that we share the same demographics with, even when there are clear evidence of guilt.
And so we are either the lying liars or the wailing wailers, hailing hailers or suffering sufferers.
As a Nigerian today, you must fit in perfectly into one of the four categories.
The wailing wailers are those that see everything that was done by the immediate past administration as right. Even if there is clear evidence that some things were not done right, they would argue from today till tomorrow that their own ‘idol’ was right and the present administration has been wrong all through.
The lying liars on their part keep manufacturing lies about the past administration and feeding it to their followers. They lie about the economy, war against Boko Haram, and just anything that would demonise the past administration and make the present saintly.
For the hailing hailers, they agree with anything the lying liars say, without constructively seeking ways to challenge them into fulfilling campaign promises made. Even if it is apparent to all that the lying liars are lying, the hailing hailers would still use every means available to support them.
Now the suffering sufferers are the majority of Nigerians. This group was never part of the past administration and is not part of the present administration. They are the ones that are really feeling the harsh economic conditions in the country. They don’t have people from the last administration supporting them; neither do they have people from the present. They are just there in the middle taking all the heat from the hailers and the wailers.
Having said that, let us go back to the real problem of Nigeria; which is lack of patriotism. We only have people that are patriotic to their religions, ethnic group or regions.
Take for instance during the previous administration, we had people mostly from the North, who prayed, perhaps fasted, for Nigeria not to succeed in anything. Even when our senior national team the Super Eagles played then, they prayed for the team to lose.
Same applies to our brothers from the other divide. As soon as power changed hands, they stopped being patriotic, clamouring for a breakaway from Nigeria and even praying for the oil price to remain low.
We need to look beyond such pettiness, to grow our country because for now, Nigeria still remains the hope of the black race.
We must not switch-patriotism from country to individual or vice versa. We must be patriotic Nigerians and love our country, our country men and our leaders, in spite of who is the President.
All Nigerians should help our leaders by being constructive in criticizing policies and programmes. By so doing, we would help in shaping our country through projects that will have impact on all citizens. By the time we do that, the hailing hailers, wailing wailers, lying liars and suffering sufferers will cease to exist and we would all be patriotic Nigerian citizens.
By; Jacob Onjewu Dickson