by Yeda Patience Budaye
More often than not I am obliged to ask, why should we love or die for our country? After all, life is hard, so face your own work as my fellow Nigerians will say. But again I ask why shouldn’t we love and die for our country? Fortunately, it is the land that God has planted our feet upon. What baffles me the most is the fact that we have individually and collectively failed in our capacity to function as a unit, let alone a nation. Tribalism, religiosity and nepotism have eaten so deep that the wounds never seem to heal. Many believe that generations yet unborn will inherit so great a curse that have befallen our blessed nation – what an irony. When I ponder on the current dispensation, I sometimes wonder what kind of life my unborn children will live in their time. Its scares me, but again I challenge myself that I must play my role to ensure a better future for the sake of my children’s children.
Let us not be hasty here if I may add. We live in a country of not less than 150million people who are governed by a few. The government of every nation has its role to play and so does its followers. There is no gainsaying the fact that our government has time and again failed in discharging its responsibilities over the affairs of our nation; however my emphasis is on the need to channel our effort as followers to make a better Nigeria. Yes! We all have something to offer our country. A wise man said,” the best thing you can do for your country is to get involved”. And one of the ways we express such is by mobilizing to vote without sentiments and favoritism, but with selfless values and principles. Also we must make our voices heard through peaceful protests, social media platforms without fear of the prevailing circumstances. We all know Rome was not built in one day.
Sometime last year while driving to work, I tuned on the radio and heard a man say and I paraphrase; if you relocate Nigerians to America, you will experience the same Nigerian effect of a corrupt state and if you relocate Americans to Nigeria, you will experience the same effect of patriotism and high standards in every way. The point is that the people are the pillar of every nation not the government which constitutes a fraction. The role of Patriotism cannot be overemphasized. It is the thin line that separates the white man from the black man. There is the need for every Nigerian to embrace patriotism without sentiments, subjectivity, tribalism, greed and the likes. We possess a self-centered mentality that must be overhauled from the lowest level of the society to the top.
Moreover, I believe strongly that the change we so desperately crave must begin with you and I. it is in what we say and what we are willing to contribute to add value to ourselves collectively. Shall we then quit the blame game and be the change that we want from within. The ideas of think of what you will do for your country rather than what your country will do for you are far-fetched, but achievable only if we truly show that we love our beloved Nigeria.
Yeda Patience Budaye is a passionate Nigeria who seeks to influence positive change through writing. She is currently working as an account officer with an insurance company. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.